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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Global Soil Security Symposium

May 19 to 21, 2015

The Global Soil Security concept is an opportunity to develop and promote the importance of soil science beyond our discipline. We invite you to the Global Soil Security Symposium to contribute your expertise and experience to further define the Soil Security concept.

On behalf of  the organizers,  you are invited to the  “Global Soil Security Symposium” being hosted at  Texas A&M University  in College Station, TX on May 19-21 2015  Registration and abstract submission is open.

The conference organizers are Cristine Morgan (Texas A&M University) , Andrea Koch (US Study Centre in Sydney) and Alex McBratney and Damien Field  (University of Sydney). As well, the Borlaug Institute is co-sponsoring and helping us to develop a sound background and framework for the policy component. (other sponsors include Noble Foundation, United States Dept of Agriculture NRCS; Soil Science Society of America, International Union of Soil Scientists, Texas A&M Agrilife Research, and OECD’s Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems)

There will be experts and innovative thinkers from a range of disciplines including agricultural and resource economics, (rural) sociology, information technology, soil science, and agronomy to further develop the concept of soil security, and to work toward assessment and implementation strategies. There is expected to be about 150 participants including representative of US and Australian government. There will be a three-day discussion to address the five dimensions of soil security, which are the following:

1.      Capability--the intrinsic capacity of a soil to produce products and ecosystem services;
2.      Condition--the current state of the soil as modified by human activities;
3.      Capital--economics of soil services to Health, Environment and Food production;
4.      Connectivity--the social connection of soil managers and custodians and users of soil products and services to the soil (and to each other); and
5.      Codification - Policy frameworks to secure soil.

Upcoming deadlines:
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: April 7, 2015
  • Abstract Editing Deadline: May 5, 2015
  • Early Registration Rate Deadline: April 7, 2015 
To submit your abstract or learn more just go to

2015 Extension Competition for Graduate Students

 The Extension and Graduate Student Sections of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association announce a competition for graduate students for 2015.  This competition, sponsored jointly by the Extension Section and the Graduate Student Section, provides graduate student competitors the opportunity to develop extension and outreach programs from their research.  The development of education materials and presentations suitable for a general public audience is expected. 

We encourage all departments with graduate students in agricultural economics, agribusiness, natural resource economics, community resource economics, applied economics or similar programs related to agriculture and/or the food system to inform their students about this important competition. 

The purpose of the competition is to provide incentives to graduate students to learn to prepare and present appropriate analytical results for an extension (usually non-economist) audience.  This can be based upon the graduate student’s research for a thesis or dissertation. Participation in the competition is expected to enhance the professional growth of the participating students regarding extension programs.

Eligible applicants are:

  • Graduate students currently engaged in agricultural economics, agribusiness, natural resources, community resource economics, applied or similar economics MS or PhD programs related to agriculture and/or the food system.
  • Those who graduated from such programs in 2014 or later.

Note: Participants must identify and work with a mentor with experience in outreach or extension activities.

Applications should be addressed to Maria Marshall and must include:
1. Student’s name, university, department, address and contact information.
2. Title of the extension program to be delivered.
3. A summary of the proposed extension program.  This should include target audience, delivery plans, communication methods and activities planned for distributing the information to the public such as with fact sheets, pamphlets, press releases, reports, web sites, streaming videos, spreadsheets, workshops, PowerPoint presentations and training activities to be conducted (4 page maximum).
4. A profile of the student applicant’s background as well as the related thesis title and brief description of the research (maximum 1 page).
5. The mentor’s name, address and description of the mentor’s role in assisting the student with this project.

Applications must be submitted electronically no later than May 16, 2015.

Finalists will be selected to make an extension/outreach presentation at the 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, on Sunday, July 26, to a panel of judges.  Selection of the finalists will be based on the material submitted and the criteria listed below.

Criteria for judging the finalist and winners will include:
1. Identification of a target audience.
a. An explanation of the issue/problem/opportunity being addressed
b. An explanation on how this target audience was identified
2. Development of an extension program for the target audience that includes:
a. An outline of the goals of the extension program
b. A summary and an explanation of the main elements of the thesis or dissertation results to be included in the extension program. Include a description of how the research results will address the issue/problem/opportunity and benefit the target audience.
c. A summary of the program in an extension report, or extension PowerPoint presentation, or other appropriate extension communication media that the audience can take home.  This summary should be an explanation that would be effective in accomplishing the extension goals as identified in step 2a above.
 3. An explanation of extension team development and responsibilities in terms of program development and delivery should be addressed, if appropriate. 
4. Plans for evaluating the effectiveness of the extension program.

Each finalist must develop oral and visual presentations (15-20 minutes in length) for delivery at the 2015 Joint Annual Meeting. The top three finalists are be expected to make presentations during an AAEA Extension track organized symposium.

Cash awards will be given to those judged to be the top three graduate students in this competition.  Award funding is provided by the Farm Foundation and the AAES Extension Section.  Awards are: 
  • First Place: $1,000 and a plaque
  • Second Place:  $300 and a certificate
  • Third Place: $200 and a certificate
  • Other finalists receive finalist certificates
The top 3 competitors selected will recognized at the AAEA Awards ceremony and the winner will receive a plaque at the awards ceremony.  All finalists are guests at the Extension Luncheon during the 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting.  Luncheon tickets will be provided to all finalists.

Submit Entries to:
Dr. Maria Marshall
Competition Committee Chair
Agriculture Economics Department
Purdue University
Phone:  (765) 494-4268

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting: Abstract Decision

Abstract decision letters were sent on March 20, 2015 to the designated presenter. If you did not receive a notification, please contact AAEA by emailing us at or (414) 918-3190.