Monday, July 19, 2021

Members in the News: Ferraro, Schnitkey, Hamilton, Khanna, Gundersen, Franken, Batabyal, & Bir

Paul Ferraro, Johns Hopkins University

Is California read for brown lawns and shorter showers? Drought requires less water use

By: Los Angeles Times - July 10, 2021

Paul J. Ferraro, a behavioral economist and distinguished professor of human behavior and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, said that, generally speaking, if you can induce people to reduce water use during a drought, those behavioral changes tend to persist, even if they wane a bit.

Read more on: Los Angeles Times

Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Safrinha Crop Projections Shrink as Prices Hit Record High

By: AgFax - July 9, 2021

Projections for the safrinha corn (second crop) in Brazil were reduced as the drought continued in the main producing regions, and more recently frosts seen in South-Central. The most recent forecast from the Safras & Mercado, a private consulting firm in Brazil, indicates that Brazil will harvest 2,425 million bushels this season.

Read more on: AgFax

Lynn Hamilton, California Polytechnic State University

Regulatory costs more than double in six years for valley farmers

By: Agri-Pulse - June 30, 2021

Regulatory costs grew 265% on average for valley farmers, while total production costs rose by just 22% for those trying to produce food and fiber in California.

Read more on: Agri-Pulse

Madhu Khanna, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Lax Pesticide Policies Are Putting Wildlife Health at Risk, Experts Warn

By: Audubon - Summer 2021

Last year University of Illinois agricultural economist Madhu Khanna published a study that correlated rising usage to annual declines of grassland and insectivorous birds in the United States, by 4 and 3 percent a year, respectively. 

Read more on: Audubon

Craig Gundersen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Major Revamp Of SNAP Could Eliminate Food Insecurity In US

By: Eurasia Review,, & Mirage News - July 10, 2021

“Restructuring SNAP as a Universal Basic Income (UBI) program or modified UBI is a straightforward way to eliminate food insecurity in United States. It’s expensive but it is not difficult,” says Craig Gundersen, distinguished professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at U of I. Gundersen authored the study, published in Food Policy.

Read more on: Eurasia Review,, & Mirage News

Jason Franken, Western Illinois University

$4.5 million heading to Peoria Ag Lab

By: Chronicle Media - July 7, 2021

Those will be the market hogs arriving at processing plants from July through November 2021, according to Jason Franken, agricultural economist at Western Illinois University and contributor to the University of Illinois farmdoc team. The economist noted that the inventory numbers support higher prices for pork at supermarkets.

Read more on: Chronicle Media

Amitrajeet Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology

The four stages of globalization

By: Rochester Business Journal - July 12, 2021

Globalization is a contentious subject. It is possible to find researchers drawing very different inferences about whether the benefits of globalization outweigh the costs. Research in the last two decades by Jagdish Bhagwati, Marc Levinson, Branko Milanovic, Joseph Stiglitz and others has shed light on this much contested phenomenon.

Read more on: Rochester Business Journal

Courtney Bir, Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma welcomes backyard beekeeping trend

By: The Ponca City News - July 9, 2021

“The calls county educators are receiving on these topics is increasing,” Bir said. “Gardening seed companies were selling out of seeds in January, and a growing interest in poultry is part of the reason why OSU Extension developed a backyard chicken course.”

Read more on: The Ponca City News


See other Member in the News items

Know another AAEA Member who has made statewide, national, or international news? Send a link of the article to Jessica Weister at

What research and topics are you working on? Want to be an expert source for journalists working on a story? Contact Allison Ware at

*Disclaimer - This email is to acknowledge citations of current AAEA members and/or their research in any public media channel. AAEA does not agree nor disagree with the views or attitudes of cited outside publications.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Member Blog: David Zilberman

ICABR at 25 – Celebrating 25 years of Research on the Bioeconomy

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | July 15, 2021

Last week I participated in the 25th conference of the International Consortium of Agricultural Biotechnology Research (ICABR). The ICABR is a network of scholars, mostly social scientists, who study the economic and social implications of modern biotechnologies, the impacts of policies to accept it, and consumer acceptance of biotechnologies, especially in agriculture and natural resources. The ICABR meets annually, most often in beautiful Ravello on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. This year we had a hybrid conference; I had to get up early in the morning to join via Zoom while others were fortunate enough to be in Ravello. Next year I hope to be in Ravello myself.

I would like to present my personal perspective on the ICABR from its conception through its present, evolving agenda and toward its future. The ICABR is the story of academic entrepreneurship and adaptability and of how a research agenda and academic team can evolve. It is also a story of convictions, friendships, and attachment to a location.

The origins and evolution of the ICABR

The 1990s saw the emergence of agricultural biotechnologies and rising concerns about biodiversity. I was excited about the early experimentation with new developments in plant breeding at Berkeley; the concept of targeted genetic modification that swept medicine now was set to accelerate crop breeding. I was fascinated by the emergence of the educational industrial complex in California, where university technologies created new industries and faculty-affiliated startups were taken over by or became major biotechnology companies. The Berkeley Novartis deal, where Novartis provided $25M to support research in return for preferential rights to intellectual property, suggested a new approach to finance academic research. It became obvious that agricultural biotechnology was becoming a major issue that would increasingly affect our planet. I also realized that enlightened policy was necessary to ensure that these new capacities of biology serve the public good.

I was fortunate to be asked by Joe Cooper, who was at the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, located in Rome) at the time, to join in a study on biotechnology and biodiversity. We held several small workshops in FAO and planned a major one in 1998. At the same time, a larger program on agricultural biotechnology was led by Bob Evenson, a visionary and leading scholar of agricultural technology, along with two professors at Tor Vergata University of Rome: Pasquale Scandizzo, a well-known agricultural economist and Berkeley alumnus, and Vittorio Santaniello, a charming scholar and academic entrepreneur. In 1998, Tor Vergata and the FAO held a joint conference which led to the formal establishment of the ICABR.

The basic premise was that the ICABR would hold annual meetings on the challenges faced in implementing biotechnology. The organization was based on voluntary efforts: participants would pay a registration fee and travel costs, speakers would not be paid, Tor Vergata would provide some administrative support, and the organizers would seek contributions for special speakers, junior scholars, and participants from developing countries. We strive to have a rigorous academic program, though while combining science with culture and fun. In 1998 we sampled some of Rome’s best restaurants and enjoyed a dedicated tour of the fabulous Villa Borghese.  In 2000 we received a grant to move the meeting to a bucket-list destination, Ravello, on the Amalfi coast. This enchanting region has become our base where we held more than 15 annual meetings. The consortium struggled for several years as founders Evenson and Santaniello faced health challenges. In 2008, after Santaniello’s passing, Carl Pray and Sara Savastano were elected president and secretary-general. Together they led the rebuilding of the conference, from 80 participants in 2008 to over 500 at the World Bank 10 years later. While we met mostly in Ravello, we ventured to other locations, partnering with organizations like the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, The Gates Foundation, and the World Bank.  We held a successful conference in the Safari Park Hotel in Kenya, at UC Berkeley, and in The World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. We established a partnership with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); we planned to hold the 2020 conference in Argentina, but it became a virtual conference because of the pandemic.

In 2018, we formalized our governance structure, deciding that officers (President, Secretary, and Board of 10) would be elected for two years. Justus Wesseler and Stuart Smyth were elected president and secretary beginning in July 2021.

The evolution of the ICABR agenda

To be sustainable, the agenda of the research consortium has had to co-evolve with the economic and technological reality. In the early days (1997-2001), much of the emphasis was on yield and cost effects, intellectual property, biotechnology accessibility in developing countries, and the benefits that can accrue to developing countries from possessing the biodiversity key to biotechnology.

The presentations in those days developed a methodology and knowledge that were crucial for years to come. The results showed that GMO applications increased yields, reduced toxic pesticide use, and increased farmer profit, especially in developing countries. Studies found that approving GMOs led to their rapid adoption, reducing commodity prices and greenhouse emissions, with benefits shared among agribusiness, farmers, and consumers. Europe’s de facto ban on growing GMOs in the late 1990s made clear that regulation, and not intellectual property, inhibits GMO adoption. Consequently, the agenda of the ICABR shifted to emphasize regulation and acceptance of biotechnology. Subsequent research suggested that regulation should be based on outcomes rather than technology, that Africa lost substantially from banning GMOs in the face of European pressure, and that GMO varieties have not posed health or environmental risks that differ from traditional varieties. Studies on the acceptance of biotechnologies emphasized heterogeneity among consumers. A near majority was unwilling to pay as much for GMO food, and a significant minority was willing to pay a great deal to avoid GMOs. However, studies also found that people will pay extra for GM food if it enhances health and that people’s preferences are not static and change with evidence and learning.

The agenda of ICABR was expanded beginning in 2009, and the ‘B’ in the name of the Consortium was modified from Biotechnology to Bioeconomy. The bioeconomy relies on the use of modern tools of biotechnology to produce food, fuel, chemicals, and other substances and services. A key feature of the bioeconomy is circularity, where production systems are designed to reuse residues while aiming to eliminate waste. Traditionally, the bioeconomy relied on fermentation to produce alcohol, bread, and cheese. In addition to developing new crop varieties, the modern bioeconomy uses recent advances in biology to convert biological resources into a wide range of products, including food and feed products but also biochemicals, bioplastics, biofuels, and more.

With the new emphasis on the bioeconomy, the economics of biofuels and the food vs. fuel tradeoffs have been emphasized by the Consortium. We had fascinating sessions on the economics of wine and beer, including a wonderful tour of a winery in Italy. In addition, there were sessions on the role of biological carbon sequestration as part of a solution to climate change. Because the bioeconomy is evolving, the ICABR also held sessions on the economics of supply chains, especially supply chains that transform biotechnologies into new products. The growth of the bioeconomy and its ability to meet its potential will depend on the effective deployment of new biotechnologies. Within the bioeconomy, we hope to see complementary utilization of modern biotechnologies with sustainable ecological practices and effective utilization of information technologies. Our sessions have documented the progress of the bioeconomy as well as gaps in knowledge and the unmet potential of the bioeconomy.

The impact of the ICABR

The ICABR has provided a forum for discussing some of the challenging issues associated with the bioeconomy. It also provided opportunities to build a community of scholars with expertise on important topics and has published several books and special issues of journals. It has also collaborated with other groups to shape the research agendas of major organizations and contribute to the emergence of new institutions. For example, research presented in the ICABR contributed to shaping the FAO agenda on Biodiversity and Biotechnology in the early 2000s and Climate Smart Agriculture later that decade. The University of Bonn asked the ICABR to contribute to a major international conference on agricultural biotechnology in developing countries in 1999. The Bonn conference showcased some of the ideas emerging from the ICABR conference, such as a Clearing House for intellectual property. The Clearing House obtains rights to biotechnology that belongs to universities and provides these to crop breeders and other scientists in developing countries.  The Rockefeller Foundation found these ideas attractive, which led to their support for the Clearing House for intellectual property in agriculture biotechnology in Davis, known as PIPRA, and the establishment of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).

The ICABR sponsored a joint conference on regulation of agricultural biotechnology with the Farm Foundation in Arlington near Washington D.C. in 2005, resulting in an award-winning book, and members of the consortium were asked frequently to testify about agricultural biotechnology policy in the US and EU government forums and at the World Bank. In 2011, the ICABR held a joint session with the European Association of Environmental Resource Economists at Rome that led to a special issue in Environmental Resource Economics on the economics of GMOs, emphasizing the tragic cost of delaying the approval of Golden Rice, a rice variety with enriched vitamin A with the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives of those suffering from Vitamin A deficiency. The article contributed to the increased awareness of the importance of utilizing Golden Rice, reflected by the Nobel Laureates’ letter urging governments to approve Golden Rice.

The recent emphasis by the ICABR on the crucial role of the bioeconomy in addressing climate change and food security was important to establishing government agendas on these topics. ICABR members contributed to much of the emerging thinking about the bioeconomy, leading to increased support for bioeconomy research and investment. The OECD and the Joint Research Center for the European Commission have advocated measuring the impacts of the bioeconomy, and indeed the European Commission has supported the BioMonitor project. The project’s ultimate goal is to get a clearer picture of how the bioeconomy affects our lives. Several joint events with the ICABR have been organized to communicate and disseminate project results.

Towards the Future

The ICABR is an initiative by researchers with common interests in the economics and impacts of the bioeconomy. The ICABR, to a large extent, has been supported by its members, and its agenda has evolved with the bioeconomy. One test of an organization is its ability to survive beyond its founders. The ICABR has overcome the loss of Santaniell, Evenson, and other major contributors, including Hans Binswanger, Wally Huffman and Wally Tyner, scholars who established a tradition of intellectual curiosity and excellence. Furthermore, the ICABR has undergone two changes in leadership, and its operations are now more formalized. The ICABR is likely to survive and thrive as the bioeconomy grows and tools of modern biology spread throughout the economy.

The ICABR will benefit from growing interest in the resilience and transparency of value chains. As climate change and food security become more pressing issues, it will become increasingly important to understand the bioeconomy, including its global governance and its growth in developing countries.

We envision the ICABR expanding its activities to training and workshops throughout the year, taking into account improvements in communication technologies. The ICABR will benefit from partnerships with research and training organizations, both in the North and in the South, enhancing its research agenda and impact. The ICABR is challenged to develop fundraising strategies and engage donors to expand its resources. I trust that financial sustainability is possible thanks to the ICABR’s ingenuity and the importance of its research. The ICABR has already contributed to the emergence of scholars and experts interested in the policy and multidisciplinary challenges of the bioeconomy, and I believe it will only improve with time.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Members in the News: Escalante, Glauber, Kauffman, Hart, Fischer, Doidge, Rousu, Corrigan, Mintert, Jodlowski, Tonsor, Bir, & AEPP

Cesar Escalante, University of Georgia-Athens

'Rampant issues': Black farmers are still left out at USDA

By: Politico, Newslanes, & Portside - July 5, 2021

Cesar Escalante, a professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Georgia who has studied loan patterns for socially disadvantaged farmers, co-authored a study published last year in the Agricultural Finance Review, showing that minority borrowers were often given smaller loan amounts with higher interest rates because they had poorer results in credit scoring models.

Read more on: Politico, Newslanes, & Portside

Joseph Glauber, IFPRI

  • Too hot? The robots aren't complaining
    By: Politico - June 29, 2021
  • Should the Agriculture Industry Be More Regulated?
    By: Bloomberg - June 29, 2021
  • Biden wants to pay farmers to grow carbon-capturing crops. It's complicated.
    By: Yahoo News - June 29, 2021
  • China's Import Appetite Raises Prospects In US Farm Belt
    By: Agro World - July 2021

Nathan Kauffman, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Chad Hart, Iowa State University

Keep the Good Times Rolling - 1

By: Progressive Farmer - July 2, 2021

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Vice President Nathan Kauffman said it's important for producers to maintain the disciplined management approaches they've adopted in recent years. Kauffman serves as the bank's principal expert in agriculture economics.

"Prices got low enough to jumpstart exports early," said Chad Hart, Iowa State University economist and crops and biofuels specialist. At the same time, China expressed its intent to meet its commitments to the phase-one trade deal, which would require buying $36.5 billion of U.S. ag products in the calendar year.

Read more on: Progressive Farmer

Bart Fischer, Texas A&M University

Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course offers Texas ranchers a glance at the future

By: AgriLife Today & North Texas e-News - July 5, 2021

“We’ll also be discussing what is happening in surrounding states, such as Colorado’s recent ballot initiative  Protect Animals from Unnecessary Suffering and Exploitation, which has now been put on pause, as well as Gov. Jared Polis’ MeatOut Day proclamation,” Fisher said. “We have to be aware of what could be knocking on our door next.”

Read more on: AgriLife Today & North Texas e-News

Mary Doidge, McGill University

Our Ohio Weekly with Ty Higgins 07/04/2021

By: iHeart Radio - July 4, 2021

In light of climate-induced risks and uncertainties like increasing extreme rainfall events and warmer temperatures, a team made up of research, extension, and outreach professionals at Ohio State are working together to identify how to promote sustainability and resilience in the Eastern Corn Belt. They are also trying to understand how farmers’ can adapt to these changing conditions while supporting both agricultural production and the protection of our critical ecosystem.

Read more on: iHeart Radio

Matthew Rousu, Susquehanna University
Jay Corrigan, Kenyon College

Pa. should consider a vaccine lottery

By: Trib Total Media - July 3, 2021

In May, Ohio announced that five lucky adults who’ve received at least one dose of covid-19 vaccine will win $1 million in weekly drawings starting May 26. Nearly 5 million Ohioans have already been vaccinated, meaning each has a one-in-a-million chance of winning $1 million.

Read more on: Trib Total Media

James Mintert, Purdue University

Rising input costs causing concern for farmers

By: Morning Ag Clips - July 6, 2021

“Farmers expect their input costs to rise much more rapidly in the year ahead than they have over the last decade, contributing to their concerns about their farm finances and financial future,” said James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture.

Read more on: Morning Ag Clips

Margaret Jodlowski, The Ohio State University

Labor concerns plaguing U.S. agriculture

By: Ohio's Country Journal - July 6, 2021

A new report, “Ohio’s H-2A and H-2B workforce: An update,” by Margaret Jodlowski, Assistant Professor in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Department of Agricultural, Environmental & Development Economics, said the move offers a temporary solution but doesn’t address a long-term resolution to ongoing labor shortages in agriculture and beyond.

Read more on: Ohio's Country Journal

Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University

Senate Ag Committee holds hearing on cattle markets, transparency, prices

By: High Plains Journal - July 7, 2021

No relationship is more relevant currently than the relationship of fed cattle inventories to processor capacity. Since 2016, the relationship has changed, exceeding operational processing capacity in the beef industry. The Holcomb plant fire in 2019 and developments during the pandemic occurred in this time period as well, Tonsor said.

Read more on: High Plains Journal

Courtney Bir, Oklahoma State University

Farm finance and budgeting resources available

By: Muskogee Phoenix - July 7, 2021

“Farm business margins have always been light, and now there are a lot of things in flux, even more than usual,” said Courtney Bir, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Oklahoma State University Extension specialist. “Making decisions when you don’t have a sense of what’s happening is difficult.”

Read more on: Muskogee Phoenix

Applied Economics Perspectives & Policy

Should the United State use Antitrust Policies on Big Agriculture?

By: Fox 40, ADVFN, SNN News, WRDE Coast TV, My San Antonio, Midplains – News Channel Nebraska, Seattle PI, Chron, SF Gate, Times Union, AZ Central, The Valley City Times Record, The Poteau Daily News, Wapak Daily News, The Evening Leader, Financial Content, The Sweet Water Reporter, AM News, Virtual Strategy Magazine, Deer Park Tribune, Daily Times Leader, SM Daily Press, Decatur Daily Democrat, Punxsutawney Spirit, Buffalo News, My Mother Lode, One News Page, Next Wave Group, Gateway News Source, Tech Social Net, State of Digital Publishing, Seed Daily, News Blaze, Daily Herald, Borger News Herald, The Post & Mail, The Saline Courier, News OK, The Kane Republican, The Inyo Register, Starkville Daily News, Chronicle Journal, Ridgway Record, Winslow, Evans, & Crocker, The Antlers American, Observer News Online, The Pilot News, Mammoth Times, & The Community Post - July 2, 2021

In the new Applied Economics Perspectives & Policy article "Should we use antitrust policies on big agriculture?" Jason Winfree and Philip Watson from the University of Idaho discuss some of the potential problems of using antitrust law to break up big agriculture.

Read more on: Fox 40ADVFN, SNN News, WRDE Coast TV, My San Antonio, Midplains –News Channel Nebraska, Seattle PI, Chron, SF Gate, Times Union, AZ Central, The Valley City Times Record, The Poteau Daily News, Wapak Daily News, The Evening Leader, Financial Content, The Sweet Water Reporter, AM News, Virtual Strategy Magazine, Deer Park Tribune, Daily Times Leader, SM Daily Press, Decatur Daily Democrat, Punxsutawney Spirit, Buffalo News, My Mother Lode, One News Page, Next Wave Group, Gateway News Source, Tech Social Net, State of Digital Publishing, Seed Daily, News Blaze, Daily Herald, Borger News Herald, The Post & Mail, The Saline Courier, News OK, The Kane Republican, The Inyo Register, Starkville Daily News, Chronicle Journal, Ridgway Record, Winslow, Evans, & Crocker, The Antlers American, Observer News Online, The Pilot News, Mammoth Times, & The Community Post


See other Member in the News items

Know another AAEA Member who has made statewide, national, or international news? Send a link of the article to Jessica Weister at

What research and topics are you working on? Want to be an expert source for journalists working on a story? Contact Allison Ware at

*Disclaimer - This email is to acknowledge citations of current AAEA members and/or their research in any public media channel. AAEA does not agree nor disagree with the views or attitudes of cited outside publications.


Thursday, July 8, 2021

CFARE Webinar: Rural Communities One Year Post COVID-19

Monday, July 12, 2021 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM CDT
Registration is free, but required. Click here to register.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on most sectors of the U.S. economy, and these impacts have been uneven across rural and urban areas. Rural areas were already lagging behind urban areas in many sectors before the pandemic, including educational attainment, access to health care and broadband, and the general economy. The Council on Food, Agriculture, and Resource Economics (C-FARE) commissioned an upcoming AAEA Choices issue to examine how COVID-19 affected rural areas. This presentation examines multiple impacts of the pandemic as well as the effects of selected federal policies designed to mitigate its adverse impacts on employment and job loss trends, impacts on agriculture, and influences on other specific sectors of the economy, including tourism, childcare, banking, broadband, and healthcare facilities. Conclusively, the work presented suggests a need for public policy interventions beyond short-term emergency levels to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. This panel will feature moderation by Jane Kolodinsky, C-FARE Board Member and Professor/Chair at The University of Vermont. Four expert panelists will join her. The webinar will conclude with questions from attendees.  Laura Brown is a Community Economic Development Educator with UConn Extension and Certified Economic Developer (CED). Julia Cho is currently a Social Science Analyst at the Data Analytics Division, Innovation Center, USDA Rural Development. Elizabeth E. Davis is a Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. Brian Whitacre is a Professor and Jean & Patsy Neustadt Chair in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

AM21 Pre-conference Workshop: "Private and Public Sector Employment Opportunities: Thinking Outside the Box"

Marriott, Austin, TX
July 31, 2021 

Learn more:


  • Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Trust
  • Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation, Arizona State University
  • Agricultural Finance & Management (AFM) Section of AAEA
  • International (INTL) Section of AAEA
  • Senior (SS) Section of AAEA
  • Food and Agricultural Marketing Policy (FAMPS) Section of AAEA
  • China Section of AAEA
  • Latin America Section of AAEA
  • Dr. Di Feng, Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas
  • Dr. Elizabeth Canales, Assistant Professor, Mississippi State University


8:00-8:30 am: Breakfast and registration
8:30 am-8:45 am:Welcome by organizers, what to expect
Dawn Thilmany, President AAEA
8:50 am-9:20 am: Consumer financing and risk management companies
Lynn Miller—Senior VP Santander Consumer, Dallas, TX.
9:30 am-10:00 am: Agricultural Finance and banking (Rabo Bank?)
Alicia English, Lead, Global Data Analytics Team & Senior Analyst, Rabobank, Netherlands
10:10 am-10:40 am: Farm Credit Administration and rural banking industry
Glenn R. Smith, Board Chairman and CEO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA.
Jeremy D’Antoni, Director and CDO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA.
10:50 am-11:20 am: Agribusiness firms (Bayer)
Cami Ryan, Social Sciences Lead, Bayer Crop Science. St. Louis MO. 
11:30am-11:20am: Coffee break
11:30am-12:00 pm: Multinational companies
Basanta Dhungana—Lead Data Science, Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA. 
12:10pm-1:10 pm: Lunch
1:20 pm-1:50 pm: Consumer and retail industry (Tysons Food, Walmart accounts)
Jennifer Travis, Vice President Sales–Walmart at Tyson Foods, Fayetteville, AR.
Katherine McGraw, Customer Development, Tyson Foods, Walmart Ecommerce, Springdale, AR
2:00 pm-2:30 pm: Insurance companies (Air Worldwide)
Juil Borman, Assistant Vice President, AIR Worldwide Corporation-Boston, MA.
2:40 pm-3:10 pm: Large accounting firms (Price Waterhouse and Coopers)
Daniel Lewis, Senior Manager, Washington National Tax Services at PwC. Atlanta, GA
3:20 pm-3:50 pm: Agribusiness firms (Cargill)
Michael Zerr, Lead, Global Trading Analytics: Long Term Model and Animal Protein Analytics, Cargill, Minneapolis, MN.
4:00 pm-4:30 pm: Wrap up and questions
Ashok Mishra, AAEA Employment Committee Chairman

 Dawn Thilmany, President AAEA

Dawn Thilmany is a Professor of Agricultural Economics, Co-Director of the Regional Economic Development Institute and Director of Engaged Research at Colorado State University. She specializes in rural economic development and focuses on opportunities related to value-added food market supply chains, as well as applied research on food market analysis and consumer behavior. Her work on agricultural diversification also includes work with agritourism and entrepreneurship in Colorado and the Western US. She is currently the President of the Ag and Applied Economics Association and has held several leadership positions with national ag, food and regional economic associations. She has been a visiting scholar and collaborated with several USDA agencies, including a current project focused on food supply chains during COVID with the Ag Marketing Service.

Lynn Miller, Enterprise Risk Management for Santander Consumer, USA, Dallas, TX.

Lynn Miller, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management for Santander Consumer. He has responsibility for Risk Identification, including identifying Material Risks to the corporation, Emerging risks, Strategic risks and Reputational risk as well as the responsibilities for the Risk Appetite Statement. Prior to his current role, he has served as SVP, Risk Management at Elevate Credit, and held executive risk and analytic positions and eBay/PayPal, Cognilytics-Century Link, and American Express. Dr. Miller is an advisory board member for SISUROOT. Dr. Miller received his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and BS in Agriculture from The Ohio State University.

Alicia English, Lead of the Global Data Analytics Team & Senior Analyst for Rabobank International, Netherlands.

Alicia is the Global Lead for the Data Analytics team for Rabobank’s Research group. Her responsibilities have been covering the data transformation, moving research to a more quantitative approach for all sectors from farm to fork. This has included building & designing cloud-based information, analytics and distribution platforms to better handle large volumes of data, complex models and new avenues to communicate to internal and external clients. Prior to this role, she was developing the methodology for measuring and monitoring progress on SDG 12.3, decreasing Food Loss and Waste for the UN Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome; working on developing the market for the energy transition in Kosovo, where she also served as a Fulbright Scholar in 2013. Dr. English received her PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, an MS from the University of Tennessee, and BA from Colorado State University.

Glenn R. Smith, Board Chairman and CEO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA.

Glen R. Smith is chairman and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, an independent U.S. government-controlled corporation that insures the timely payment of principal and interest on obligations issued jointly by Farm Credit System banks. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business and accepted a position with Doane Agricultural Services as state manager of the company’s farm real estate division. Mr. Smith is the founder and co-owner of Smith Land Service Co., an ag service company specializing in farm management, land appraisal, and farmland brokerage, serving about 30 Iowa counties.

Jeremy D’Antoni, Director and CDO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA.

Jeremy D'Antoni is the agency's chief data officer and director of the Office of Data Analytics and Economics. He was named to these positions in 2019. Since joining FCA in 2015, Mr. D'Antoni has helped the agency evaluate risks to agribusinesses and lenders by tracking commodity markets, farm policy, and rural economic issues. He has also helped improve the data analytics FCA uses to measure the System's service to young, beginning, and small farmers and ranchers. Mr. D'Antoni is a CFA charter holder and holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics and an undergraduate degree in finance from Louisiana State University.

Cami Ryan, Social Sciences Lead, Bayer CropScience, MO

Cami Ryan, Ph.D., is the Social Sciences Lead with Bayer Crop Science. The role is a first-of-its-kind in the industry. Up until joining Bayer in 2014, Cami worked in the area of agriculture for over 20 years and for most of that time as a public sector researcher. In her current position with the Regulatory Scientific Affairs team (RSA), Cami is responsible for strengthening relationships with social, behavioral, and political scientists. In this role, Dr. Ryan leverages an expanding scientific network in North America and worldwide to more closely examine and understand policy, regulations, consumer behavior, and the acceptance of agricultural innovations. Cami holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies through the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan. She is currently a Professional Affiliate with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan and a member of the Scientific Industry Advisory Committee for Genome Canada. In 2017, Cami Ryan was a member of Genome Canada’s Genomics in Society Expert Panel to evaluate the efficacy and strategic direction of GC’s GE3LS research program.

Basanta Dhungana, Lead Data Science, Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA.

Basanta Dhungana, Ph.D., has spent 12 years working in fortune 500 companies, including Sears, Nestle, Apple, Hewlett Packard, and startups as a data science and ML application developer. During his career, he helped build enterprise-level forecasting applications to improve supply chain management, prequalification optimization solution for a DSL service provider, price optimization solution for real-time quasi auction market exchange, recommendation engine solution to enhance digital customer experience, marketing and sales qualified lead generation solution. Basanta currently works in Agilent Technologies, a medical instrument and life science company, as a data science lead, helping to accelerate digital transformation through ML and AI application development and deployment. Basanta graduated from UIUC under the supervision of Prof Madhu Khanna and Professor Hayri Onal. His presentation will focus on preparing applied economics graduates for the corporate job market in an evolving era of Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence.

Jennifer Travis, Vice-President Sales, Walmart at Tyson Foods, Fayetteville, AR.

Katherine McGraw, Customer Development, Tyson Foods, Walmart E-commerce, Springdale, AR.

Julia Borman, Senior Scientist, AIR Worldwide Corporation, Boston MA.

Julia Borman, Ph.D., is a senior scientist and manager on the agricultural risk modeling team at AIR Worldwide. She is the research model manager for the U.S. Multiple Peril Crop Insurance models, leading development and research on the project and related consulting agreements. AIR modeling products and services are used by governments, crop insurers, reinsurance companies, and agricultural risk managers. Julia received her Bachelors in Economics and Mathematics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, her masters in Economics from N.C. State University and her Ph.D. in Economics from N.C. State University.

Daniel Lewis, Senior Manager, Washington National Tax Services at PwC. Atlanta, GA.

Michael Zerr, Lead Global Trading Analytics: Long Term Model and Animal Protein Analytics, Cargill, Minneapolis, MN.

Michael Zerr is an Economist for Cargill. Cargill is a global food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products provider. Michael leads the analytics team for the Cargill Protein Group and Cargill’s meat and livestock products processing business. In addition, Michael works with Cargill’s grain and oilseed businesses to provide the corporation with long-term forecasts for strategy and business development. He previously worked in Cargill’s packaged food ingredients enterprise as a food economist and was the economist for the beef division. Michael worked as an agronomist with Cargill in Northwest Indiana, where he advised farmers about crop production and site-specific farming techniques. Michael was raised on a livestock and grain farm in Missouri, which his family continues to operate. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in General Agriculture and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Members in the News: Bir, Irwin, Loch-Temzelides, Anderson, Brown, Sims, Schnitkey, Zulauf, Smith, Tonsor, Schnitkey, Thompson, Lubben, & AJAE

Courtney Bir, Oklahoma State University

Pollinators and our Food Supply

By: The Oklahoma News Report via YouTube & PBS - June 28, 2021

"Honeybees are not native to the United States. A lot of people are surprised when they hear that and it falls under agriculture because are actually a livestock species. They’re an insect that is cultivated by people; it is managed just like other livestock just like cattle, goats, and other things are managed. It is a little bit out of the beekeeper’s control to some degree because if your neighbor or a neighboring farm is using pesticides off label or something like that, it can really impact your bee colonies" said Courtney Bir.

Read more on: The Oklahoma News Report via YouTube & PBS

Scott Irwin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

U.S., Brazil expected to constrain ethanol output in coming months

By: Reuters - June 22, 2021

Ethanol usually helps lower gasoline prices, said Scott Irwin, a professor at the University of Illinois, as it tends to be an inexpensive source of needed octane for gasoline. However, at current market prices, ethanol is actually adding to gasoline's cost.

Read more on: Reuters

Ted Loch-Temzelides, Rice University

Fungi Embrace Human Economic Ideas in Trade with Hosts

By: Futurity,, Silent Garden, & The Hack Posts - June 30, 2021

Ted Loch-Temzelides, a professor of economics and chair in sustainable development at Rice University, examined through an economic lens data from ecological experiments on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi networks, which connect to plants and facilitate the trading of nutrients for carbon.

Read more on: Futurity,, Silent Garden, & The Hack Posts

David Anderson, Texas A&M University

Beef continues to lead meat case sales

By: Supermarket Perimeter - June 10, 2021

However, beef demand had been on several years of strength prior to the pandemic, said David Anderson, PhD, professor and extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. A growing economy, falling unemployment and consumer preferences toward higher USDA quality grade beef were building demand, and 2020 did not slow beef demand, even with the increase in unemployment, he says. The All Fresh beef demand index scored 119 for 2020, the best in 20 years.

Read more on: Supermarket Perimeter

Scott Brown, University of Missouri

Weekly Livestock Market Update With Scott Brown

By: Brownfield Ag News - June 25, 2021

Scott is an associate extension professor in the Division of Applied Social Sciences and the director of strategic partnerships for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. Scott has worked with U.S. Congress over the past three decades in determining the quantitative effects of changes in dairy and livestock policies and has testified regarding dairy and livestock policy issues before House and Senate Agriculture committees.

Read more on: Brownfield Ag News

Kaitlyn Sims, University of Wisconsin

State Prisons Fueled Covid-19 Spread in Their Areas Last Spring, Study Suggests

By: Gizmodo, Medical Xpress, Goal Shakers, Sci Tech Daily, & Medicine Net - June 28, 2021

“Our big takeaway from this research is that prisons are a particularly vulnerable type of facility when it comes to risk for disease spread, which may add additional stress to rural healthcare systems that are already struggling to cope with the pandemic,” study author Kaitlyn Sims, a doctoral student in agricultural and applied economics at UW–Madison, told Gizmodo in an email.

Read more on: Gizmodo, Medical Xpress, Goal Shakers, Sci Tech Daily, & Medicine Net

Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Carl Zulauf, The Ohio State University

Historical Relationships Suggest Rising Corn Seed Costs for 2022

By: - June 30, 2021

Seed costs for corn have trended up over time. Genetic improvements and biotechnology use in hybrids have led to higher yields, contributing to the general increases in seed prices and per acre seed costs. Seed costs also are positively associated with increases in expected revenue from corn production. As a result, per acre seed costs in the U.S. likely will increase in 2022.

Read more on:

Vincent Smith, Montana State University

MSU Extension partner recognized nationally

By: Farm Forum - June 29, 2021

“Carrie Schumacher has an amazingly detailed knowledge of the cultures and information needs of rural American Indian communities in Montana and other northern Great Plains states,” wrote Vince Smith, a longtime collaborator of Schumacher’s, in the nominating materials.

Read more on: Farm Forum

Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University

Grassley Questions Witnesses at Senate Ag Hearing On Cattle Market Transparency

By: Chuck Grassley, The Fence Post, & Progressive Farmer - June 11, 2021

Glynn Tonsor, a professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University, listed a series of “adjustments” he said should be made to livestock reporting.

Read more on: Chuck Grassley, The Fence Post, & Progressive Farmer

Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois farmer testifies about farm safety net

By: Morning Ag Clips - June 29, 2021

“Trade disputes and weather issues along with high yields contributed to abundant supply which led to these lower incomes,” testified Gary Schnitkey, agricultural economics professor at the University of Illinois. “Without the federal safety net, farm incomes would have been much lower. Payments for farm safety net programs and net insurance payments were 20% of net income in 2018, 33% in 2019 and 59% in 2020.”

Read more on: Morning Ag Clips

Nathanael Thompson, Purdue University

USDA corn, soy estimates mostly unchanged

By: High Plains Journal - June 29, 2021

The drought is expected to center on the Dakotas; South Dakota is responsible for about 10% of the nation’s corn crop. “We need timely rains in July and August,” said Nathanael Thompson, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Purdue.

Read more on: High Plains Journal

Bradley Lubben, University Nebraska-Lincoln

UNL's new Center for Ag Profitability to launch webinar series on July 8

By: The North Platte Telegraph - June 30, 2021

It will be hosted by Brad Lubben, Extension policy specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics, and include a panel of experts from USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Read more on: The North Platte Telegraph

American Journal of Agricultural Economics

15 stats about food waste

By: Tucson, Mooresville Tribune, Napa Valley Register, The Cut Off News, MSN, The Times, WFMZ, Herald & Review, Tulsa World, & The Columbian - June 23, 2021

study from the American Journal of Agricultural Economics found that the annual cost of the 25 million tons of food wasted by U.S. households is $240 billion, or $1,866 per household. The study also found that higher-income families waste more food than lower-income families.

Read more on: TucsonMooresville Tribune, Napa Valley Register, The Cut Off News, MSN, The Times, WFMZ, Herald & Review, Tulsa World, & The Columbian


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*Disclaimer - This email is to acknowledge citations of current AAEA members and/or their research in any public media channel. AAEA does not agree nor disagree with the views or attitudes of cited outside publications.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A decade of development and contribution of AAEA China Section

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the China Section last year, an article was published in China Agricultural Economics Review to report the section’s history, growth, contribution and outlook (Wang, 2021).  We would like to share its main points with AAEA members here.

China Section was founded in 2009 as the first AAEA section focusing on issues related to a particular country. There were 86 founding members, mostly from US universities and USDA. China’s amazing economic development the 1990s and early 2000s caught scholars’ attention worldwide then on its agricultural development, its food and fiber markets, and its trade policy. These issues were especially important to the US, and a cohort of AAEA scholars had been mobilized to study for years, whom formed the core of this section then.

The section is intended to facilitate collaboration, mentor junior AAEA members, and bridge between AAEA and other professional organizations worldwide on agricultural and economics issues related to China. Over the first ten years, its paid membership increased to 134. The growth was mainly driven by new members from outside the U.S., especially China where the membership quintupled.  A separately maintained Chinese social media group has over 700 subscribers, many are past section members.  Graduate student membership also grew from about 15% to almost 50%, showing the attractiveness to junior professionals.  China section’s AAEA organized paper session quota grew from two to three based on its membership. Still, over 150 submitted abstracts competed for the limited slots in recent years.

Scholars from the China Section have actively engaged in research on important and timely issues with impactful outcomes. Recent years have observed trade conflicts between U.S. and China, especially in the agricultural sector. In response, section members published multiple themed symposia in Choices, provided expert testimonies to the U.S. Congress, and organized a well-attended post-conference at 2019 AAEA Annual Meetings.  Chinese agricultural economic development also provides experience to the world, such as its advanced grocery online market and restaurant delivery system. Two journal special issues focusing on China topics were organized by recent section leaders, Agribusiness (2020) and China Agricultural Economics Review (2021). The Section has made continuous contribution to the AAEA, the profession, and the public.

China section has diverse members in gender, race, country of origin, seniority, and sub-discipline in applied economics. It has experienced a steady growth since its inception owning to the support from AAEA presidents, executives board, sister sections, senior mentors, and peer members as well as our external sponsors and supporters. The current leaders and members are inspired to continue the legacy and bring the Section to the next level.


Wang, H. H. 2021 Editorial: China Section in Agricultural and Applied Economic Association: History, Growth, Contribution and Outlook. 13 (2), 249-259. DOI:10.1108/CAER-05-2021-263