Priorities and Solutions

Agricultural and Applied Economics Research Priorities

April 6th 2017
Holeman Lounge, National Press Club

The Priorities and Solutions Project is a one year project facilitated by the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) in partnership with the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA). We are delighted to announce the release of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Priorities and Solutions Report.

 Agricultural and Applied Economics Priorities and Solutions Report

A report of research priorities for the agricultural and applied economics profession was generated by the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) as part of the joint Agricultural and Applied Economics Priorities and Solutions Project. The event highlighted the role of economics in addressing industry challenges trade, markets, big data and consumer preferences. A link to all the presentations at the event is located here. See the full report here. The priority areas are:

  • Cultivating economic development and trade policy for economic stability, growth, and equality.
  • Understanding consumer preferences to enhance well-being.
  • Ensuring growth and opportunities in the farm economy.
  • Preparing the agricultural sector for a dynamic climate.
  • Achieving nationwide food security to enhance rural and urban economic vitality.
  • Enhancing natural resource and agricultural sustainability.
  • Big data for advances in agricultural production, food supply, and meeting consumer demands.
  • Advancing rural economic growth for a robust America.
  • Building an American energy economy.
  • Developing the solution supply chain by integrating innovation into the marketplace.

 Thank you to all that participated in the development of the report and the resulting event! The profession will use the report to communicate the importance of the profession as well as what it aims to do in the coming years to address grand challenges.


Introduction - Agricultural and Applied Economics Priorities and Solutions Project

  • Jill McCluskey, Past AAEA President, Distinguished Professor of Sustainability in the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University
  • Mary Bohman, Administrator of the USDA Economic Research Service

PANEL - Cultivating Economic Development and Trade Policy for Economic Stability, Growth, and Equality - Moderator: William Powers, Chief Economist at U.S. International Trade Commission

  • Gopinath Munisamy, Director of the Market and Trade Economics Division of USDA's Economic Research Service
  • Luis A. Ribera, Associate Professor and Director, Center for North American Studies, Texas A&M University
  • Will Martin, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute and President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists

Farmer's Questions about Trade Optimization

  • Dale Moore, Executive Director, Public Policy, American Farm Bureau Federation

Keynote speaker lunch

  • Keynote: Kip Tom, Chairman of TomFarms in Leesburg, Indiana will speak about Farm Innovation, Big Data Management and Profitability
  • Moderator: Constance Cullman, President & CEO at Farm Foundation, NFP
  • Discussant: Warren Preston, Deputy Chief Economist of the USDA


PANEL - Big data for Advances in Agricultural Production, Food Supply, and Meeting Consumer Demands - Moderator: Scott Swinton, Incoming AAEA President, Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics, Associate Chairperson of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University

  • Keith Coble, A W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics and Department Head at Mississippi State University
  • Linda Young, Chief Mathematical Statistician and Director of NASS's Research and Development Division
  • Stacy Sneeringer, Economist in the Structure, Technology, and Productivity Branch of the Resource and Rural Economics Division of USDA's Economic Research Service

PANEL - Understanding Consumer Preferences to Enhance Well-being and Food Security - Moderator: Jill McCluskey, Past AAEA President, Distinguished Professor of Sustainability in the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University

  • Craig Gundersen, Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • David Just, Professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University
  • Jayson Lusk, President of the AAEA, Regents Professor and Willard Sparks Endowed Chair in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University

3:30 PM ET Closing comments


Agricultural and Applied Economics Research Priorities and Solutions Project

The objectives of this project are to accomplish the following:

  • Identify overarching priorities for agricultural and applied economics research and education to address society’s challenges over the next decade.
  • Promote communication among agricultural and applied economists about the priorities for developing new research projects, research methods, and curricula to meet the future needs of society.
  • Communicate to policy makers in Congress and federal agencies about the key needs and priorities for research and education in agriculture and applied economics.
  • Influence the availability of funding for the identified priorities of research and education.
  • Articulate the unique role of agricultural and applied economists in working with other disciplines to respond to the challenges facing society.
  • Identify the educational needs for future agricultural and applied economists and develop new and innovative curricula to meet those needs.

Organizational Structure:

  • Project Chair:  Jill McCluskey, AAEA President, Washington State University
  • Project Director:  Gene Nelson, Professor Emeritus, Texas A&M University
  • Steering Committee:
    • Mike Adjemian, USDA Economic Research Service
    • Mary Ahearn, USDA Economic Research Service (Retired)
    • Walt Armbruster. Farm Foundation (Retired)
    • Titus Awokuse, Michigan State University
    • Joshua Berning, University of Georgia
    • Susan Capalbo, Oregon State University
    • Roger Coupal, University of Wyoming
    • Tim Dalton, Kansas State University
    • Ken Foster, Purdue University
    • Craig Gundersen, University of Illinois
    • Neal Hooker, Ohio State University
    • Leif Jensen, Pennsylvania State University
    • Eluned Jones, South Dakota State University
    • David Just, Cornell University
    • Nigel Key, USDA Economic Research Service
    • Dan Lass, University of Massachusetts
    • Jayson Lusk, Oklahoma State University
    • Kent Messer, University of Delaware
    • Kimberly Morgan, Virginia Tech University
    • Abby Okrent, USDA Economic Research Service
    • Marco Palma, Texas A&M University
    • Norbert Wilson, Auburn University
  • Project Manager:  Caron Gala, Executive Director, C-FARE


C-FARE's Focus

The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. 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 research and outreach community and Washington, DC decision makers and stakeholders, matching expertise to public needs.


C-FARE's Mission

The mission of the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) is to enhance the effectiveness of the food, agricultural, resource, and related economic sectors through a stronger national presence of the agricultural and applied economics profession in the processes of identifying key economic issues; connecting the work of the profession to those in policymaking and leadership, and generating greater public appreciation for research, extension/outreach, and academic programs.


The scope of C-FARE’s activities is consistent with the broad and growing range of subject matter areas that comprise the 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; energy; and others. The Council also develops linkages to other rural, social, agricultural, and life sciences.



The Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is a not-for-profit association serving the professional interests of members working in agricultural and broadly related fields of applied economics. Members of the AAEA are employed by academic or government institutions, as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of teaching, research, and extension/outreach activities. Their work addresses a broad range of topics such as the economics of agriculture, international and rural development, resources and the environment, food and consumer issues, and agribusiness.