Luis Pena LevanoWhat motivated you to pursue Agricultural/Applied Economics as a profession?
Agricultural Economics is a science that has impact in the well-being of the society. The globalization has made us to create a network of causes and effects that simultaneously interplays in the day by day life. International agricultural trade is especially my passion because of that reason, it amazes me how the decisions in one sector of the world can have consequences in the future of others. Among these decisions is the climate change mitigation, which has impacts not only on us but also in the future generations. Likewise, the effects are different depending on the development, location and resources of very nation. Thus, as a person that comes from a developing country, such as Peru, I am pretty interested in motivating better policies that can be implemented in Latin America and other emerging economies in order to improve their regional welfares. Likewise, I find the applicability of Agricultural & Applied Economics very useful and necessary in order to help farmers, which are the base of the economic and are in charge of feeding the world, and to understand economic and consumption behavior.
Why did you join AAEA, and how has membership in the Association impacted your professional development?
I joined the AAEA because it is a recognized academic organization which has a worldwide network. Through and thanks to the AAEA, I have met new friends and colleagues, learned about their research and grown as a professional. This last one has been key for me because the AAEA conferences have provide me with the opportunity to learn and gain new information for future research, likewise, it has given me the opportunity to improve my skills of oral speaking, agribusiness knowledge and how to communicate ideas, especially through the Paper presentations and the Case study competitions.
What advice would you give to an up and coming Agricultural/Applied Economist?
I would advise to join the AAEA, participate actively in the conferences and prepare research for presentations. It is a good opportunity to grow as a professional and to meet future colleagues and friends. Likewise, I would encourage to keep a balance in their life, although research is a key and important aspect of our professional development; it is necessary to share part of the day with our friends and family because it also helps us to develop as human beings; to practice sports and other hobbies that can enhance our motivation to later continue working. As an economist, I believe there is an optimal point in the number of hours we are productive, thus, we can find an optimal distribution of the time in order to have a stable and happy life. Finally, I would suggest to find their passion in Ag. & Applied Economics, because there are too many areas to work, practical and theoretical, that can have impact in our future generations.
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.