Thursday, April 23, 2015

Member in the News: Anna D'Souza

Calorie shares of the diet in Tanzania, by region

Calorie shares of the diet in Tanzania, by region

Food consumption patterns vary widely across different regions of Tanzania, leading to significant differences in food basket costs and impacts of changes in food prices. Understanding these consumption patterns is key to measuring access to food in developing countries and supports U.S. policies targeting global food security. ERS analyzed consumption patterns nationally and for three regions: the business capital Dar es Salaam, the Southern Highlands, and the Lake Zone in the northwestern corner of the country. On average, the Tanzanian diet relies heavily on starchy staples, with maize providing over 40 percent of household calories. But maize accounts for 51 percent of total calories in the Southern Highlands, where it’s produced in surplus, and just 32 percent of calories the deficit producing Lake Zone. In the... Read More>>

Early Career Mentoring Applications

The Early Career Mentoring program is taking applications this week. Seeking experienced persons who are interested in expanding their network in a professional development role. Also seeking early career mentees who wish to enhance their careers through the development of a dynamic mentoring partnership. We start with a workshop in San Francisco, Saturday July 25. Please sign up at: Contact Vicky Salin for more information

  • What do you receive?
As a mentee, you are given the following opportunities to enhance your career:
    • Identify successful mentoring connections.
    • Gain professional support during career development, advancement and transition.
    • Develop important relationships and contacts across AAEA, Academia and Industry.
      As a volunteer mentor, you have the opportunity to share your knowledge, your experience, and your insights with the next generation of leaders working in applied economics and related fields. Mentors should have at least seven years of experience/tenure in their current profession and demonstrated excellence in their career. Past mentors have said:

      “I think this program is great and I only wish I had a formal Mentor on my early days in the profession.”

      “This has been a terrific opportunity for me and I am really enjoying it. As would be expected this has forced me to look at my own career and how I am working.”

      “The great thing about this program is that you can spend as little, or as much time on it as you want.”
      • What is your commitment?
      The 12 month commitment begins with a comprehensive matching process. Once partnerships are formed, a formal training and planning session with a professional facilitator from Dynamic Mentoring Connections will take place at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco on July 25, 2015.

      The program encourages mentoring pairs to commit to a minimum of two meetings (email, phone, etc.) per month devoted to mentoring activities. Mentor pairs will determine the length and frequency of the mentoring meetings. A mid-year energizer webinar and year-end celebration will also be part of the program. Additionally, all program participants will be asked to complete program evaluations at mid, end, and 6 months after program completion.

      There will be a small participation fee for mentees. We are estimating the fee for 2015 will be around $120 per participant.

      Tuesday, April 21, 2015

      Deadline Reminder: 2015 National Value-Added Agriculture Conference

      Just a friendly reminder that deadline for registration and guarantee convention hotel rate for the 17th Annual National Value Added Agriculture Conference is April 27, 2015.

      The conference tentative agenda is now available on the conference website: or please find attached.

      Speakers and presenters at the conference this year include: Mr. Sid Miller, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner; Mr. Carlos Rubinstein, the Chairman of Texas Water Management Board; Dr. Peter Feather, USDA’s Agricultural Labor Affairs Coordinator, Ms. Judith Canales, the State Executive Director USDA Farm Service Agency; Mr. Daniel Torres, Business Programs Director of USDA’s Rural Development; Mr. Neilson C. Conklin, President of Farm Foundation; Dr. Mary Ellen Camire, PhD, CFS, President of Institute of Food Technologists and more than 40 other farmers, producers, policy makers, researchers, economists, food industry enthusiasts, etc.

      The conference will take place on May 18-20, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

      Deadline for registration is 5:00 pm April 27, 2015.

      Registration fee for regular attendee is $200 which will cover meetings, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 coffee breaks, a reception, and a banquet.

      Special thanks to Farm Credit, the Center for North American Studies, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Food MarketMaker, Southern Rural Development Center, Southern Extension Risk Management Education, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Agricultural Marketing Resource Center for sponsoring this conference.

      2015 NVA Conference Committee

      Member Blog: Eric O’Rear

      The Obama administration’s focus on fuel economy standards is less effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to an oil tax.

      Eric O'Rear 80x108In recent years, part of the Obama administration strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been to increase fuel economy standards for new cars and light trucks. In new research Eric O’Rear examines the economic impacts of these new standards, compared with the introduction of an oil tax. He finds that stronger fuel economy regulations will not only burden the economy with the added costs of investment in more energy-efficient vehicles, but that they are also less economically efficient, and will result in smaller reductions in carbon emissions and net oil imports compared to an oil tax.

      Energy legislation in recent years has been developed for the main purposes of: lowering harmful, heat-trapping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; and helping the U.S. further develop its energy independency through continuous reductions in foreign oil demands, making the country less reliant on sometimes adversarial and unstable countries. A key sector targeted in legislation is transportation. – more specifically cars and light trucks – given that close to 70 percent of US petroleum use comes from the sector, and is the second-largest contributor to domestic GHG emissions behind the electric power sector (Figure 1).
      Figure 1 – Energy Use and GHG emissions by transportation mode and sector, respectively
      O'Rear Fig 1
      Existing fuel economy regulations and fuel taxes have been marginally successful in meeting the government’s policy objectives – however, in new research I show that other transportation-based policies, such as oil taxes, should be considered in future legislation in order to help move the country into a position of complete energy independence.

      Read more on The London School of Economics and Political Science Blog page

      Thursday, April 16, 2015

      Member Profile: Trent Smith

      Trent Smith 
      Senior Lecturer
      University of Otago (New Zealand)

      Wednesday, April 15, 2015

      Undergraduate Student Section Activities Announcement

      On behalf of the Undergraduate Student Section of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association, we cordially invite you and your students to attend and participate in the 2015 AAEA& WAEA Joint Annual Meeting in San Francisco (July 26-28). Our section offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities for undergraduate students of agricultural and applied economics:

      · Academic Bowl Competition
      · Student Paper Competition
      · Earl O. Heady Decision Sciences Spreadsheet Competition
      · Outstanding Chapter Competition
      · Creative Club Competition

      In addition to the aforementioned competitions, students can interact with representatives of major graduate programs in our profession to discuss MS and PhD programs. Our reception on Sunday night (July 26, 2015) is a great opportunity for your students to meet and forge lifelong friendships with other students from over 20 domestic and several Canadian universities. On Monday night, immediately following the final round of the Academic Bowl Competition, we recognize and celebrate student accomplishments at the Awards Ceremony. Additionally on Monday night, in our section’s business meeting students have the opportunity to run for elected student leadership positions within our section.

      To encourage participation, the student registration fees have been discounted this year from $50 to $20 per student. As a further incentive to participate, there is a total of $1,800 in prize money, various award plaques, and of course bragging rights to be national champions in a given competition. All of the required registration forms, competition rules, and overview of the Undergraduate Student Section may be found at If you have any questions, please contact me at

      Dr. Steven S. Vickner
      Associate Professor
      Wilmington College

      Faculty Leadership:
      Dr. Steven S. Vickner (Senior Advisor)
      Dr. Tyler Mark (Junior Advisor)
      Dr. Timothy Meyer (Sophomore Advisor)
      Dr. Maria Bampasidou (Freshman Advisor)

      Student Leadership:
      Rozalyn Patrick (President)
      Richard Manuli (Vice President)
      Abby Biedenbach (Secretary/Treasurer)
      Caroline Kelsoe (Public Relations)

      Tuesday, April 14, 2015

      Extension Tour: Sonoma County Wine, Apple Cider, and Olive Oil

      We will depart from the Marriott Marquis Hotel at 7:00 AM on Wednesday, July 29th after the 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting. The tour of Sonoma County will begin in Sebastopol. Devoto Gardens is a 20 acre diversified family farm that was founded in 1976 by Susan and Stan Devoto. The farm started out as one of the North Bay's original micro-green growers, and slowly evolved in biodiversity. Together with their three daughters, the family grows over 50 varieties of heirloom apples, specialty cut flowers, and pinot noir grapes. The tour of the farm will be followed by a tasting of their hard apple ciders.

      The second stop will be in Geyserville where we will meet with one wine-grape grower to talk about farming practices, wine production, marketing strategies and key challenges. Also, the Sonoma County Cooperative Extension viticulture adviser will provide an overview of the county’s vineyard industry and answer questions. The discussion will continue over wine and a box lunch.

      The final stop is McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma beginning with a walk in the orchards and vineyards. This introduction to McEvoy Ranch provides an overview of its history, its commitment to environmental responsibility, its wine program and how they produce award-winning olive oil. We'll walk in the orchards and vineyards where we will talk about the horticulture of their plantings. Next, we'll visit their state-of-the-art mill for an explanation of their unique process of extracting oil. To finish the tour, they will lead us through an oil tasting and sensory evaluation. Following the tour, we will enjoy a wine tasting featuring McEvoy Ranch's current releases. Their retail shop will be open at the end of your visit to purchase olive oil, wine, body care or other estate-produced and artisanal gift items.

      The tour includes walking some distance around the properties. Comfortable shoes will provide stability on uneven/gravel surfaces. The weather will be hot or very hot. Please bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen and a water bottle.

      7:00 AM Departure
      Mariott Marquis
      789 Mission Street, San Francisco

      8:45 Arrival Stop 1
      10:00 Departure
      Devoto Gardens and Orchard
      655 Gold Ridge Road
      Sebastopol CA 95472

      10:45 Arrival Stop 2
      12:30 Departure
      Constellation Brands
      22280 Geyserville Avenue
      Geyserville, CA

      1:30 Arrival Stop 3
      4:00 Departure
      McEvoy Ranch
      5935 Red Hill Road
      Petaluma, CA 94952

      5:30 Arrival at Marriot Marquis

      The deadline to register for the Extension Tour is June 25, 2015.
      You can register for a ticketed event while registering for the 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting in San Francisco: