Dr. Ahrendsen is a native of Iowa with a B.S. degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University and Masters and Ph.D. degrees in economics from North Carolina State University.  He was raised on his family’s farm in eastern Iowa. The farm operation consisted of corn, soybeans, hay, oats, farrow-to-finish hogs, beef cow-calf, and finished cattle. His brother continues to operate the century farm. Following graduation from Iowa State University, Dr. Ahrendsen held a position in Iowa with the Farm Service Agency, formerly Farmers Home Administration, where he supervised U.S. Department of Agriculture farm and housing credit programs. Dr. Ahrendsen has been a member of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas since 1990. He has taught an undergraduate course in agricultural finance and graduate courses in financial management, quantitative methods, and econometrics.

His major research interests include issues of financial institutions and markets, credit evaluation, financial management, credit programs, risk management, farmland leasing, and asset valuation.  He leads intensive, real-time, case-study weeks in the International MBA in Agribusiness program at universities in the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Croatia. Dr. Ahrendsen serves on the Executive Editorial Board of the scientific journal Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce, the Editorial Advisory Board of Acta Regionalia et Environmentalica, and the Board of the International Network for the MBA in Agribusiness and Commerce which organizes and reviews programs in Europe and Asia. He also has been a member on the Management Board of the EU-US Double MS Degree Program in Rural Development and Agricultural Economics, which is comprised of a consortium of six universities in Europe and the University of Arkansas. Dr. Ahrendsen has worked in Slovakia where he was invited to provide recommendations to the Ministry of Agriculture relative to the financial difficulties of its agricultural sector.

Dr. Ahrendsen has served as reviewer for numerous scientific journals and has received more than $1.25 million in extramural funding. In recognition of his scholarly achievements, he received the University of Arkansas Hoyt Purvis Award for Faculty Leadership in International Education, the Bumpers College Outstanding International Education Award, and Bumpers College Alumni Society Outstanding Advising Award, and his research has received the Highly Commended Award Winner by the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence and the Distinguished Paper of the Small Firm Financial Research Symposium among other recognitions.