Kansas State University
Kansas State University
What motivated you to pursue Agricultural/Applied Economics as a profession?
When I initially started college, I really wasn’t sure what agricultural economics was, but I knew I wanted to be in the College of Agriculture, and I had always really enjoyed working with numbers and problem solving. Thanks to devoted and passionate professors, I quickly realized this was the perfect field for me. I was convinced, “they had the best job in the world!”
Because of the excitement I observed in others in our profession, it was my goal to give back to our communities and the profession by training and preparing our students, conducting relevant applied research that is of value academically as well as to our constituents and providing important and timely outreach programs.
Why did you join AAEA, and how has membership in the Association impacted your professional development?
I first joined AAEA as an undergraduate student in 2004 in order to compete in the academic quiz bowl competition. However, once I started graduate school, I began to really understand the importance of this association. Being able to present a paper or a poster while a graduate student, provides extra motivation and incentive to do your best work and allows you to be seen and interact with professionals prior to entering the job market. Now I most look forward to reconnecting with colleagues and former classmates from around the world each year. The association has allowed me to meet new people and collaborate on projects I would have never been aware of otherwise.
What advice would you give to an up and coming Agricultural/Applied Economist?
I would encourage an up and coming Agricultural/Applied Economist to get involved with AAEA as soon as possible. There are so many ways to be involved whether it is volunteering to judge or moderate the undergraduate quiz bowl competition, the graduate student case study competition, presenting a selected paper or poster, joining and participating in one of the sections, or organizing a track session. We all enjoy presenting our research and learning what others are doing to expand the knowledge base, but that is only a part of what AAEA is about. Generally speaking, we are a small profession, and the opportunity to connect and network each year is important for all of our careers.
This post is part of an ongoing series of profiles of AAEA members. Have a suggestion for a future profile? Send them to Info@aaea.org.