Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Member in the News: Gary Williams

Gary Williams, Texas A&M University
House subcommittee examines market development programs
By: High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal - March 20, 2017
Gary Williams, Ph.D., professor of agricultural economics and co-director of the Food, Agribusiness and Consumer Economics Research Center at Texas A&M University, was the lead witness at the hearing, telling the subcommittee that “USDA Export Market Development Programs … have worked consistently and effectively over 50 years to bolster the profitability and viability of not only production agriculture, but the broader U.S. economy as well.”

Williams discussed how he and his team at TAMU did a critical analysis of the public-private partnership to promote U.S. agricultural exports under the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development program has been and continues to be a highly successful and cost-effective means of strengthening the profitability and maintaining the viability of the U.S. farm economy.

“The USDA Export Market Development Programs are clearly pro-growth for the entire U.S. economy,” Williams said. “The benefits of export promotion to the farm economy multiply through the economy adding importantly to our national output, GDP, labor income and level of employment.”

(Continued...)
Read the entire article on High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Members in the News: Jayne, Villoria, and Countryman

Thomas Jayne, Michigan State University
Ethiopia’s state-of-the-art commodity exchange
By: The Economist - February 2, 2017

Not as transformative as its founders hoped

(Continued...)
Read the entire article on The Economist

Nelson B. Villoria, Kansas State University
Amanda Countryman, Colorado State University
Was the Trans-Pacific Partnership Bad for the U.S.? Experts Take Sides
By: Wallet Hub - March 16, 2017

Is the TTP good or bad for the U.S.?

(Continued...)
Read the entire article on Wallet Hub




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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017 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 2017. 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. 

Purpose for the Competition
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. 

Who’s Eligible?
Eligible applicants are:

  • Graduate students currently engaged in agricultural economics, agribusiness, natural resources, and 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 2016 or later.

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

Competition Application Information
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.

Submission Deadline
Applications must be submitted electronically no later than 5pm on May 31, 2017

Selection of Finalists
Finalists will be selected to make a 15-minute extension/outreach presentation at the AAEA meeting in Chicago, IL on Sunday July 30, 2017, to a panel of judges. Selection of the finalists will be based on the material submitted and the criteria listed below. Finalists will be notified by June 16, 2017. 

Criteria for Selecting Finalists
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. 

Extension/outreach presentation at the AAEA
Each finalist must develop oral and visual presentations (15 minutes in length) for delivery at the AAEA meetings. Following the 15 minute presentation the judges will have 5 minutes of questions. The competition begins at 8am on Sunday, July 30th. The top three finalists are be expected to make presentations during an AAEA Extension track organized symposium. 

Awards
Cash awards will be given to those judged to be the top three graduate students in this competition. Award funding is provided by the AAEA Extension Section through membership dues and via support provided by the Farm Foundation, the National Crop Insurance Services Inc, the Southern Risk Management Education Center, the Western Extension Risk Management Education Center, The Center for Farm Financial Management, and FarmDoc. 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 AAEA annual meetings. Luncheon tickets will be provided to all finalists. 

Submit Entries to:
Dr. Maria Marshall
Competition Committee Chair
Department of Agricultural Economics
Purdue University
Phone: 765-494-4268
Email: mimarsha@purdue.edu

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2017 Teaching, Learning, and Communication Section: Graduate Student Teaching Award

The TLC is an active group of AAEA members interested in the theory, scholarship and practice of learning, teaching, and communication. Given that a large majority of AAEA members have responsibilities in these three areas, the TLC’s activities are developed to enhance members’ skills in the on-campus classroom, off-campus workshop, and in a presentation to a community group.

As graduate students are our teachers of tomorrow, the TLC has chosen to sponsor this award to recognize and encourage graduate students who excel in teaching agricultural or applied economics courses.
Any member of the AAEA may submit nominations and selection is made based on nominating materials. Re-nominations are encouraged, providing materials are updated and resubmitted. The Graduate Student Teaching Award is a criterion-based award and is reviewed by a committee of TLC members.

The successful nominee will be required to attend the 2017 AAEA Annual Meetings in Chicago. In addition, the winner of the award will participate as a presenter (10-15 minute presentation) in the TLC’s track session on teaching tips. This session offers the opportunity for Teaching Award recipients to share teaching tips and have a dialogue with AAEA members. The goal of the session is to share ideas on what successful teachers are doing in and out of the classroom to facilitate learning.

Eligibility

The nominee must have been involved in course instruction (including one or more of laboratory, discussion sections, help section, and online courses) for a minimum of one year (2 semesters or 3 quarters or the equivalent). Nominee must have been a graduate student in good standing within the year before the nomination, i.e. cannot have graduated prior to August 2016.

Applicants must hold a current Graduate Student Membership in AAEA.

Selection Criteria

The following three major areas are considered in evaluating nominations:
  1. Quality of teaching;
  2. Personal commitment to teaching and self-development as a teacher; and
  3. Involvement in undergraduate extracurricular activities.

Nomination Packet

Nominating materials should demonstrate that the nominee has outstanding ability and performance as a teacher of agricultural or applied economics as defined by the AAEA Vision Statement. The nomination packet shall include the following:
1. Award cover page, including membership status to address eligibility. The cover page should include the following information;
a. Name, title, professional address, telephone number, e-mail address of the nominator;
b. Name, title, professional address, telephone number, e-mail address of the nominee; and
c. "TLC Graduate Student Teaching Award Nomination" should be included on the cover page.
2. An essay by the nominee on his/her teaching philosophy, not to exceed five typewritten (double-spaced) pages;
3. A complete description of nominee's specific teaching involvement;
4. A self-evaluation of nominee's teaching activities;
5. A summary of student evaluations of teaching, and no more than two letters of support from current or former students;
6. Two letters of support from faculty, administrators, or others directly involved in the nominee's teaching activities;
7. A statement about nominee's involvement in activities related to teaching (clubs, review sessions, committees, etc.);
8. The nominee's resume/vita; and
9. Supporting materials may be submitted but are limited to three additional pages.

*All materials are to be submitted as a single electronic PDF file to the Teaching, Learning, and Communication Chair.

Please submit a complete electronic application packet by March 27, 2017 to:
Elizabeth Yeager
TLC Chair, 2016-17
eyeager@ksu.edu

Monday, March 13, 2017

Members in the News: Mintert, Williams, and Reardon

James Mintert, Purdue University
Agricultural producer sentiment falls from January peak
By: Yahoo Finance - March 7, 2017

"The concern producers expressed about current economic conditions is consistent with other measures of conditions in the farm economy," said James Mintert, barometer principal investigator and director of Purdue's Center for Commercial Agriculture. "For example, during the recent annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, USDA projected net farm income in 2017 will fall to $62 billion, a 9 percent decrease from 2016 and a 50 percent drop from the peak net farm income set in 2013."

(Continued...)
Read the entire article on Yahoo Finance

Gary Williams, Texas A&M University
Value of USDA Export Market Development Programmes Examined
By: The Cattle Site - March 7, 2017

Mr Seng was also asked about the most prominent competitors in the global red meat marketplace. He noted that the European Union is an aggressive and well-funded competitor in the pork arena, especially since losing access to Russia – formerly the EU’s largest export market – in 2014. Seng explained that Australia promotes beef aggressively in key Asian markets, and has tariff rate advantages in some destinations – including Japan.

In addition to Mr Seng’s testimony, Dr Gary Williams, professor of agricultural economics and co-director of the Food, Agribusiness and Consumer Economics Research Center at Texas A&M University, presented the results of a study showing that USDA market development programs have been highly effective in boosting US agricultural exports and export revenues. From 1977-2014, the programmes added an annual average of 15.3 per cent ($8.15 billion) to the value and 8 per cent (11.5 million metric tons) to the volume of US agricultural exports, generating a net return of $28.30 in additional export revenue for every dollar invested.

(Continued...)
Read the entire article on The Cattle Site

Thomas Reardon, Michigan State University
Of rice and men: A circular tale of changing food preferences
By: The Economist - March 9, 2017

Rice has long been popular in some west African countries, such as Senegal. It is becoming a staple in much of the region. Thomas Reardon, who studies food at Michigan State University, says that urbanisation is driving demand. Urban workers developed a taste for rice in cafés and now cook it at home. Besides, rice is less fiddly to cook than millet or sorghum, adds Mr Roy-Macauley—a convenience food for Africa’s tired city workers.

(Continued...)
Read the entire article on The Economist


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Friday, March 10, 2017

Member in the News: Marc F. Bellemare

Marc F. Bellemare, University of Minnesota
In praise of quinoa
By: The Economist - March 9, 2017
The globalisation and modernisation of agriculture have contributed to a stunning reduction in hunger. Between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of children under five who were malnourished fell from 25% to 14%. People who are still underfed are less severely so: their average shortfall in calories fell from 170 a day to 88 by 2016. And between 1990 and 2012 the proportion of their income that poor people worldwide had to spend on food fell from 79% to 54%. As for those quinoa farmers, don’t worry. A study by Marc Bellemare of the University of Minnesota found that Peruvian households became better-off because of the quinoa boom, even if they didn’t grow the stuff, because newly prosperous quinoa farmers bought more goods and services from their neighbours.

Granted, rising prosperity has allowed an increasing number of people to become unhealthily fat. But the solution to that is not to make them poorer, which is what the backlash against globalisation will do if it succeeds. Rather than sniping snootily about Donald Trump’s taste for well-done steaks slathered with ketchup, liberals should worry about the administration’s plans to erect trade barriers and possibly start a trade war. That would make the world poorer and hungrier.

(Continued...)
Read the entire article on The Economist

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Member in the News: Will Masters

Will Masters, Tufts University
"Eat wisely"
By: Food Tank - March 2017
Will Masters, Professor at Tufts University, is speaking at Food Tank’s first Boston Summit, “Investing in Discovery,” on April 1, 2017, in collaboration with Tufts University and Oxfam America.

Will is a Professor at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition with a secondary appointment in the Department of Economics. Before coming to Tufts, he was a faculty member in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, as well as the University of Zimbabwe, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Columbia University. From 2006 through 2011 he edited Agricultural Economics, the journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, and he has been awarded both the Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis (2013) and the Publication of Enduring Quality Award (2014) from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA).

Food Tank had the chance to speak with Will about his work, inspiration, and what small steps everyone can take towards building a better food system.

(Continued...)
Read the entire article on Food Tank

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