Steve Green's ('17) research on millennials recognized by WKU Fund
By Laryn Hildebrand
Thanks to the WKU Fund, Steven Green (’17) of Munfordville, Ky., was recognized for his exceptional research on millennial consumers.
Green, who graduated from WKU in May with a B.S. in Agriculture, was one of 59 students recognized during the 47th Annual Student Research Conference. With 400 students participating, the conference was sponsored by the WKU Fund.
As a beef producer in Hart County and Fundraising Chair of the National Junior Hereford Association, Green discovered his interest in beef research while serving as the Kentucky Beef Ambassador.
“I began realizing how much I didn’t know about the newest set of consumers,” Green said, referring to millennials. “I wanted to know more and was presented with the information to apply for a F.U.S.E. Grant. From then on, I have worked to be a voice for beef producers and find the answers we need.”
A Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement (F.U.S.E.) Grant supports undergraduate intellectual development through active involvement in research, creative and scholarly activities and/or artistic performances.
“Up until this year I felt my time at WKU was great, but something was missing,” Green said. “The F.U.S.E. Grant bridged the gap for my college career by helping me build relationships with faculty. I have never spent more time in faculty offices than I have these past few months.”
Under the mentorship of Dr. Dominique Gumirakiza, Green was able to apply for and be awarded the F.U.S.E. Grant. Dr. Gumirakiza is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics at WKU, with his Master and Ph.D. degrees from Utah State University.
“Dr. Gumirakiza gave me the opportunity to take hold of my interests and find answers useful for many around the country,” Green said. “He has made this experience well worth it.”
The faculty-student team sent out an incentivized survey, receiving responses from 264 millennials across the state of Kentucky. The project aimed to determine millennials’ willingness to pay for beef products, gain insight into preferences for differentiated beef products, and identify differences between rural and urban millennials and their perception towards the beef industry.
The results gleaned from the survey’s participants allowed Green and Dr. Gumirakiza to make recommendations to beef producers on the best ways to market to millennials to increase awareness and sales.
Now a new WKU alumnus, Green plans to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, focusing on bovine reproduction in the field of embryology.
“This research project has fulfilled my WKU experience,” Green said. “Our experience has given me a greater appreciation for leadership, education and WKU’s unlimited possibilities.”
Marc Archambault, President of the WKU Foundation, said “The WKU Fund, managed by the WKU Foundation, attracts unrestricted private donations intended to support WKU priorities. This unrestricted support from our alumni enhances innovative initiatives that help students persist, achieve and graduate. The Student Research Conference was a perfect partnership, as it recognized the research of some of WKU’s brightest minds.”