C-FARE is a non-profit organization. The scope of C-FARE's activities is consistent with the broad and growing range of subject matter areas that comprise the agricultural and applied economics profession. Included among the subject matter areas are the economics of food production, distribution and consumption; international trade and development; macroeconomic issues; natural and human resources; environmental quality; rural and agribusiness management; public policy; legal-economic issues; and others. C-FARE also develops linkages to other rural and agricultural sciences.

Incorporated in 1993, C-FARE's governing board includes prominent applied economists representing a wide range of public and private sector interests. C-FARE promotes the work of applied economists and serves as a catalyst for incorporating economic thinking into the analysis of food, agricultural and resource decisions.  We serve as a conduit between the academic research and extension community and Washington, DC policymakers and agency personnel, matching expertise to public needs. 

C-FARE was formed to help the profession systemize the presence of agricultural economics at the national level in research priority setting, funding of research, providing input to policy debates, etc.

In 1992 USDA Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service (CSREES and currently USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture - NIFA) supported a conference for agricultural economics department heads focused on administrative issues that cut across all departments.  In that workshop, some agricultural economists proposed to organize what is now the National Association of Agricultural Economics Administrators (NAAEA) Section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA – formerly American Agricultural Economics Association).  In conjunction with that workshop, Walt Armbruster (now retired from Farm Foundation) led organization of a preconference workshop to discuss how the profession might organize to provide a national presence in the priority setting, budget seeking and policy input processes. The department heads and USDA leaders participating in the workshop were broadly supportive of the goals being considered.  The discussion resulted in the proposal to create a C-FARE type organization.  Subsequently, Peter Barry (now Professor Emeritus at University of Illinois), Susan Offutt (now the Chief Economist of the Government Accountability Office), J.B. Penn (currently Chief Economist with Deere and Company), Kitty Smith (currently Executive Director of CoPAFS) and Walt Armbruster (now retired from Farm Foundation) served as a planning/organizing committee to structure and implement the organization which resulted in C-FARE.