Monday, October 19, 2020

Members in the News: Westhoff, Martinez, Maples, Benavidez, Koontz, Lusk, Luckstead, Nayga, Zhang, Hayes, Lubben, Llewelyn, Vassalos, Mark, & Khanna

Patrick Westhoff, University of Missouri

Trump Funnels Record Subsidies to Farmers Ahead of Election Day

By: The New York Times - October 12, 2020

“There are both economic and political motivations for these payments,” said Patrick Westhoff, who directs University of Missouri’s agriculture research center.

Read more on: The New York Times

Charles Martinez, University of Tennessee
Joshua Maples, Mississippi State University

Justin Benavidez, Texas A&M University

Jayson Lusk, Purdue University

Jeffrey Luckstead, Washington State University
Rodolfo Nayga, University of Arkansas

Men less likely to see food as national security issue amid pandemic, study finds

By: Science Daily,, & - October 8, 2020

The study was published in the journal Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy by Jeff Luckstead, WSU Assistant Professor in the School of Economic Sciences, and Rodolfo M. Nayga and Heather A. Snell, both at the University of Arkansas.

The gender anomaly notwithstanding, the study found that on average, people did shift their views toward food being a national security issue during the pandemic. They were also more empathetic toward H-2A workers because of the crisis.

Read more on: Science Daily,, &

Wendong Zhang, Iowa State University
Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University

The agricultural industry economics team of Huazhong Agricultural University has made important achievements in the research of the intersection of agricultural economics and machine learning

By: Foodmate Network - October 10, 2020

Professor Xiong Tao from the School of Economics and Management of Huazhong Agricultural University and Professor Shao Yongtong from Tianjin University of Commerce are the co-first authors of the paper, Assistant Professor Zhang Wendong from Iowa State University is the corresponding author, Professor Dermot J. Hayes from Iowa State University and New Mexico, USA Li Minghao, assistant professor at the State University, participated in the research together. 

Read more on: Foodmate Network

Bradley Lubben, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Richard Llewelyn, Kansas State University

PLC payments for Kansas wheat farmers

By: Morning Ag Clips & Great Bend Post - October 11, 2020

“With the release of the “Agricultural Prices” report by USDA on September 30, the 2019/2020 MYA prices are now final,” reported Rich Llewelyn and Art Barnaby in a publication issued by the K-State Department of Agricultural Economics. “The wheat price was finalized last month, at $4.58, with a corresponding PLC payment of $0.92 per bushel. These payments will be received later this month.”

Read more on: Morning Ag Clips & Great Bend Post

Michael Vassalos, Clemson University
Tyler Mark, University of Kentucky

Clemson researcher leads national effort to combat Armillaria root rot

By: SCNow - October 10, 2020

The economics team, led by Michael Vassalos, a Clemson associate professor of agribusiness, will design surveys to help determine economic effects of ARR and impacts that proposed solutions may have in affected regions.

“ARR can have a devastating impact on the profitability of peaches, cherries and almonds,” said Tyler Mark, an agricultural economist with the University of Kentucky who also is on the economics team. “As ARR spreads through an orchard, it reduces the yield and, eventually, it gets to the point the orchard is no longer profitable. If the ARR infection is bad enough, the field may no longer be an acceptable location to replant an orchard.”

Read more on: SCNow

Madhu Khanna, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Regenerative Agriculture Initiative launches at U of I

By: The McDonough County Voice - October 9, 2020

“Regenerative agriculture is a promising approach to transforming the agricultural system to make it economically and environmentally sustainable,” says Madhu Khanna, iSEE Interim Director and ACES Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at Illinois. “iSEE is excited to facilitate collaborations between our interdisciplinary research experts and our external partners to advance and apply the science required to realize this promise.”

Read more on: The McDonough County Voice

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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

WEBINAR — High-Speed Internet in the Heartland: The Challenges and Opportunities of Rural Broadband

Fri, Oct 16, 2020 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM CDT 

Rural communities are increasingly challenged by changes to their traditional economic base. New technologies have forced change in familiar industries, and employers must accommodate to remain competitive. In the residential sector, such technologies have the potential to advance community relationships. Expanding broadband, or high-speed internet, and the adoption of the latest platforms that come in over it, has made everything local, global. Virtual events and meetings, for instance, build truly long-distance relationships in a click. Large health and medical services achieve hitherto unimaginable market penetration. 

 The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics is hosting a webinar on rural broadband moderated by past president Roger Coupal, and headlined by four panelists: 

  • Alex Marre is a regional economist at the Baltimore branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. 
  • Mike Malandro is the president and CEO of Choptank Electric Cooperative where he has successfully launched a broadband deployment effort. 
  • Anna Read is the research officer at the Pew Charitable Trust’s broadband research initiative examining rural broadband. 
  • John Pender is a senior economist in the USDA’s Economics Research Service’s Rural Economy Branch, Resource and Rural Economics Division. 

The 50-minute program will feature presentations from the three panelists followed by a moderated Q&A discussion that welcomes attendee input and participation.

The Meatless Revolution: Panel with Industry Experts

AAEA Webinar (Co-sponsored by FAMPS and AEM)

Please note the date and time have not been determined. Notifications and a calendar invitation will be sent out when a date has been determined.
Please fill out this short survey by October 31, 2020:


The meat sector is a well-established market, with a typical American consuming over 200 pounds of meat (either beef, chicken, and/or pork) per year. However, the growing demand for alternative proteins (e.g., plant-based, lab-grown) has captured the attention of investors, the media, and consumers. Plant-based “meats” are not only targeted toward vegans and vegetarians, but also consumers who do not subscribe to a specific diet, as plant-based meat companies attempt to mimic the look, feel, and taste of conventional meat-based products. Major food retail chains and fast food restaurants, such as Carl’s Jr., Q’doba, and Burger King, are bucking the trend and have all introduced plant-based alternatives as a substitute to menu favorites. Additionally, new technologies to produce lab-grown meat, such as those derived from chicken feathers, are on the frontier. Infusions of investments by venture capital and large companies are being made, despite the fact that, historically, many investments made in growing food startup companies have ended up being divested at a loss.

Nevertheless, the controversy surrounding plant-based vs. lab-grown vs. the traditional meat sector has many wondering how the food system will evolve in this new choice landscape. This symposium brings together both sides of the conversation – the alternative and the traditional meat sectors – to discuss the meatless craze that has swept the nation and the broader implications for the food system.

Expected Outcomes  

The goal of the panel is to engage in topical discussions on relevant challenges and opportunities that the traditional and non-traditional protein sectors face, and discuss ways in which partnering with researchers would offer synergies with industry objectives. Participants will leave with information on data resources that may be useful for policy relevant analysis.

Who Should Attend

We encourage all members of AAEA as well as non-members to attend, including but not limited to agricultural economics, public policy experts, industry stakeholders, educators, chefs, and health care experts.

Webinar Format

The Webinar is entirely Q&A based. Prior to the panel, we will solicit questions to ask the panelists and pick, among them, four to six questions to guide the discussion. Please go to THIS SURVEY to vote on which questions you would like to ask the panelists.

Example questions include:

·         How close are the alternative protein options to mimicking the nutrient profile of alternative meat options when compared to regular meat?

·         What marketing campaigns exist to inform or persuade pro-meat consumers to purchase plant-based alternatives?

·         How does cost factor into shoppers’ purchasing decisions, specifically concerning the higher price tag of alternatives?

·         What expectations do you have regarding the demand for meat alternatives and how might this factor into product pricing?

·         How long do you foresee it taking for the lab-grown and plant-based industry to not only mimic the taste of meat on the market, but exceed what consumers are currently used to?

·         Who are the major players and what are the products they offer, either currently or in the near future?

·         With all of the additives required to achieve plant-based meat, could you describe the process with respect to FDA standards and labeling requirements?

·         In what ways, if any, are environmental policies shaping the acceleration of plant-based alternatives? How might you expect this to change over the next five to ten years, e.g., under different administrations?

Industry Speakers

Paul Shapiro is the author of the national bestseller Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, a four-time TEDx speaker, and the host of the Business for Good Podcast. Shapiro is the CEO of The Better Meat Co., a company whose goal is to help meat producers improve sustainability by blending in the start-up's plant-based proteins in their ground meat products. Prior to publishing Clean Meat, he was known for being an animal protection advocate, both as the founder of Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) and a Vice President at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Monty Staggs is the Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE), a food manufacturing and distribution company servicing K-12 schools across the U.S., where he has been since 2012. SFE’s mission is to bring an exceptional dining experience to K-12 students through custom, chef driven and culinary-based district partnerships. Staggs began his career as a chef in fine dining, serving as Executive Chef in critically acclaimed restaurants in Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles, and later in corporate research and development for fast-growing national restaurant chains, driving their Menu Master Award Winning concepts across the United States and internationally. Staggs has worked with the nation’s largest natural and organic beef producers where he held positions of VP of Foodservice Sales, Corporate Executive Chef, and VP of Prepared Foods Innovation. Staggs graduated from Johnson and Wales University Summa Cum Laude graduate and was the recipient of the distinguished President’s Trophy.

Dean Klahr serves as Director of the Stockgrowers Division at the Kansas Livestock Association. Klahr concentrates his efforts on addressing issues that impact the association’s grass-based membership through legislative and regulatory efforts, along with the coordination of educational programs. Klahr joined KLA in the summer of 2019. He comes to the association with a diverse agricultural background, having served in various segments of the industry. While also being actively involved in his family’s small cow-calf and traditional crop operation, he has gained experience in the fields of soil conservation, food manufacturing, feedlot, agricultural sales and marketing. Klahr is a graduate of Kansas State University’s College of Agriculture, where he earned his B.S. in Animal Sciences & Industry.

Michael Nepveux serves as an Economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). His issue portfolio consists of livestock and dairy markets, farm bill and federal crop insurance, renewable fuels, and hemp issues. AFBF is the nation’s largest organization representing farmers and ranchers. AFBF is the unified national voice of agriculture, working through our grassroots organizations to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities. Nepveux joined the American Farm Bureau Federation as an economist in May of 2018. He comes to AFBF from Informa Economics Agribusiness Group, where he was an analyst charged with conducting market, policy and economic research and analysis in several fields including agriculture, agricultural risk management, transportation and renewable energy. His prior experience also includes placements with the Agriculture Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service and the House Agriculture Committee. Nepveux earned a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness and economics and a master’s degree in agricultural economics, both from Texas A&M University.