1. K-State home
  2. »MAB
  3. »Research
  4. »kempkemichael2013

Master of Agribusiness

A Logistics Optimization Study for Garden City Co-Op, Inc.

Michael Kempke, Garden City, Kans., defended his thesis, “A Logistics Optimization Study for Garden City Co-Op, Inc.,” on April 4, 2013. Kempke is the Crop Production Accounts Manager for Garden City Co-op. He graduated from Kansas State University in May with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree. 

Established in 1919, Garden City Co-op is a rural Southwestern Kansas co-op serving more than 2,000 members and non-members by providing marketing and storage of grain, fertilizer, crop protection products, seed and petroleum.  The cooperative also owns and operates Western Transport, a company providing transportation of liquid fertilizer, diesel, gasoline and propane.

“The purpose of my thesis was to develop a model that would optimize the supply chain strategies for the cooperative’s fertilizer and petroleum products by determining an optimum mix of storage and transportation needs,” Kempke said. “This will help Garden City Co-op minimize costs associated with inventory, storage, labor, operations and freight expenses.”

In developing the model, he reviewed different demand scenarios during drought and non-drought scenarios. Brian Briggeman, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Kempke’s thesis advisor, said, “Michael did an excellent job developing a logistics model that will benefit the membership of Garden City Cooperative.”

K-State’s Master of Agribusiness (www.mab.ksu.edu) is an award-winning, distance-education degree program that focuses on food and agribusiness management. Students and alumni work in every sector of the food and agribusiness industry and are located in 40 states within the United States and in more than 25 countries. 

“The research experience of the MAB program helped me work through a real-world problem I deal with on a regular basis,” Kempke said.