MSU Economist Don Ricks recognized for his work
Donald Ricks, an agricultural economist at Michigan State University who devoted his career to studying tart cherry markets and marketing, recently received the Faculty Emeriti Association award for outstanding post-retirement contributions.
Until his retirement in 2003, Ricks’ work focused on solving the economic problems caused by large annual fluctuations in tart cherry crop size, which the industry now regulates through a federal marketing order. He was a market analyst and also the meeting chair in organizing the first tart cherry federal market order in 1972 and the Cherry Industry Administrative Board in 1995. “I was a consensus-builder,” he said.
Emeritus faculty members at MSU elect to continue their work past retirement, at no pay, and Dr. Ricks worked with graduate students and faculty developing seminars and other opportunities to further the knowledge and training of graduate students in Extension work. As a member of the “Work Group on Scholarship of Extension,” he helped develop guidelines and expectations for scholarship of MSU Extension faculty and ways to evaluate and reward it.
He also developed and teaches a course for upperclassmen on leadership and related people-skills. Part of his retirement work is in developing ways for stakeholders to work together in industry strategic planning.