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Raymond R. Beneke

Dr. Beneke devoted his professional life to the study of agricultural economics after witnessing firsthand the devastating effects of the Great Depression. He joined the faculty of the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University in 1948. He became director of the agricultural business curriculum in 1950 and saw the program's enrollment grow from 56 students to 600-plus during his tenure. He received the Outstanding Teacher Award from ISU in 1968 and the Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching award from AAEA that same year. His work in Peru and Mexico in the 1960s reinforced his conviction that the economic discipline could make a significant contribution toward alleviating poverty in the third world through improved decision making.

Dr. Beneke served as secretary-treasurer of the AAEA from 1985 to 1993. He was named a fellow of the AAEA in 1996. The AAEA is markedly stronger thanks to Dr. Beneke, who spearheaded the development of the AAEA Foundation and entrepreneured some of its most successful projects. The concept of Appreciation Clubs originated with Dr. Beneke, who established the Appreciation Club precedent by forming the Earl Heady Appreciation Club, dedicated to the memory of his friend and colleague.