Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Announcing the 2023 Extension Competition for Graduate Students

The AAEA Extension Competition for Graduate Students provides an opportunity to develop and/or get feedback on programs that communicate research and practical information to Extension (usually non-economist) audiences.  Entries can be based upon graduate student research for a thesis, dissertation or other academic work. The competition is sponsored by the Extension and Graduate Student Sections.

Note: This year, we will once again work with applicants who cannot or do not wish to attend the conference in person. The details below refer to our current plan and may change.

Who’s Eligible?

Graduate students currently engaged in topics related to agricultural economics, agribusiness, natural resources, and community resource economics as well as those who graduated from such programs in Spring 2023 or later.

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

The Application:

Applications should be addressed to Curtis Mahnken at 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 project outcomes, target audience, delivery plans, communication methods and activities planned for distributing the information to the public such as fact sheets, reports, web sites, spreadsheets, and presentations (4 page maximum). If the applicant was part of a team, the role of the applicant within the team must be made clear. If the proposed project is building upon the success of other extension programs, the summary should include a description of the previous program and the innovative approach of this proposed project.

4. An educational popular press article limited to 500 words and no more than two graphics (tables, charts, etc.). This should be an addendum to your submission packet. Examples include: and

5. A detailed evaluation plan. This should be an addendum to your submission packet. You may choose to develop your project using a logic model (which is not required). You can see more information on logic models below.*

6. A profile of the applicant’s background and research (1 page maximum).

7. The mentor’s name and description of the mentor’s role in the project.

Finalists at AAEA

Finalists will be selected to make a 15-minute presentation at the AAEA meeting either virtually or in Washington, D.C. on Sunday July 23, 2023, to a panel of judges, who will then ask 5 minutes of questions. The competition will begin at 8AM EDT.  Selection of the finalists will be based on the material submitted and the criteria listed above. Finalists will be notified by June 5, 2023. The top three finalists are expected to make presentations during an AAEA Extension track organized symposium if present in Washington DC or virtually. Date and time are to be determined (likely Tuesday, July 25).

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 sponsors. 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 be recognized at the AAEA Awards ceremony on the evening of July 24.  All finalists will be provided tickets to the Extension Luncheon on July 24 during the AAEA annual meetings. 

Submission Deadline: Midnight CDT on Friday, May 12, 2023. Email entries to Curtis Mahnken, Competition Committee Chair at Finalists will be notified by June 5, 2023.

*Logic models, often linked with program evaluation, can also be useful for planning a program. You can find many examples of logic models online, including:

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