Throughout his meritorious career, Dr. Jim McGrann has left behind a great legacy as a recognized professional in beef cattle economics, benchmark system development, decision aid software, and ranch management accounting and information systems in Texas and nationally. Dr. McGrann’s accomplishments in research and extension as a professor and extension economist led to significant developments and improvements in management information systems both nationally and internationally. Now retired from the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, he continues to work both domestically and internationally with livestock producers and several of his former students.
After earning a B.S. in 1964, an M.A. in 1968 at Washington State University, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University in 1973, Dr. McGrann joined Texas A&M as an Agricultural Economist and applied his knowledge and innovative skills to benefit Texas and the U.S. beef industry, as well as other countries. McGrann’s international education experience began in 1963, when he served in Panama with the Peace Corps conducting technical assistance work. This work continued with long-term programs in Argentina and Uruguay. In addition to technical assistance work, Dr. McGrann has taught graduate courses in Guatemala focusing on advanced management information systems and has experience in 21 different beef production countries as a professional consultant.
Dr. McGrann has been extremely influential in developing innovative educational programs focused on production and marketing for the beef industry. He is a pioneer in developing decision aids and analytical tools for farmers and ranchers. His creation of the Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA) software, a software which organizes data into meaningful management indicators, was the first major attempt to develop a standardized production and financial analysis for the beef industry. Its application and use have become widespread in standardizing accounting procedures for farms and ranches. Jim also was one of the original members of the national Farm Financial Standards Task Force that developed a set of national financial reporting and analysis guidelines for agricultural producers. He was not just a member, but one of the committee chairs and has continued in their work on the development of cost accounting guidelines.
Dr. McGrann is currently the Vice-President of the International Farm Management Association and operates a private ranch management and economist consultancy that serves livestock producers. His experience in consulting work for ranch managers spans through ten different states on ranches such as the W. T. Waggoner Estate Ranch, the King Ranch, and the RT Stuart Ranches, providing these ranch managers with finance and management information. He is a partner in a new professional management company, Ag Management Group, that manages commercial farms and ranches for investors and families in Argentina and Uruguay. He also organized a Mexico Angus bull export program for the Jorgensen Ranch and is working with Cargill - Animal Nutrition Equine division to develop decision aids to measure production and financial performance and business plans for Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred farms.
During his time in the Department of the Agricultural Economics, Jim was an enthusiastic and deeply-committed supporter of farm and ranch management classes and instructors, frequently assisting with software development, graduate student committees, and other classroom activities. His FINYEAR software was adopted for use in the capstone Rural Entrepreneurship class, providing students (and the professor) an excellent opportunity to evaluate their businesses’ prospects for financial success. He has financially supported students in this class with several scholarship awards.
Dr. McGrann has received numerous awards, including the Deputy Chancellor Extension Specialist Distinguished Performance Award (1984); the Texas Agricultural Extension Service Superior Service Award (1985); the American Agricultural Economics Association Distinguished Extension Program Award for Individual Contribution (1988); the Distinguished Achievement Award in continuing Education by the Association of Former Students (1990); the Buel Lanpher Achievement Award for work with the Farm Financial Standards Task Force (1994); and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service Vice Chancellor Team Award for recognition of the Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA) implementation (1995). Dr. McGrann’s contributions to research and extension earned him the title of Professor Emeritus Extension Economist in 2004 and establish him as a well-deserving candidate for membership in the prestigious Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry.
Jim and his wife, Nadia, reside in College Station. They have two children, Michael ‘93 and Monica ‘96.