News from the NAAEA Section
We are busy scheduling our business meeting and group discussion for Sunday, July 27, at the 2014 AAEA Annual Meeting. We encourage all agricultural economics administrators, or those interested in learning more about administration, to join the section and be an active participant in these meetings.
One major topic for discussion following the business meeting will be to update the information that Mike Boland provided in his 2009 Western Agricultural Economics Presidential Address. Mike and I are focusing on the tenure of individuals in the role as department head or chair, and the process for leader selection at our various departments and units. We will also hear from Oluwarotimi Odeh, chair at Virginia State University, on a parallel survey he is conducting assessing leadership preparation and training for administrative roles, both as a precursor to assuming unit leadership or on an ongoing basis for sitting leaders.
Please join the NAAEA Section and plan to attend our Sunday afternoon meeting. Please also respond fully and quickly to Dr. Odeh’s survey as well as the phone surveys Mike and I will be conducting in the next month or two.
Chair, National Association of Agricultural Economics Administrators
Senior Section To Co-Sponsor Workshop On Teaching and Learning Macroeconomics
On Wednesday, July 30, following the AAEA Annual meeting in Minneapolis, the Senior Section and the Teaching, Learning and Communications Section will co-sponsor a post-conference workshop entitled “The Role of Agricultural and Applied Economics in Supporting Macroeconomic Literacy”. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will host the workshop and provide the facilities, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will provide the lunch. For that reason, the cost to participants of this important workshop will be minimal.
The two sponsoring sections and the Federal Reserve Banks share a concern about the lack of economic literacy of the public, and have decided to support efforts to improve the situation, beginning with a focus on macroeconomics. The lack of public understanding of macroeconomics generates confusion about the national and global economies and provides an environment conducive to ineffective, or risky, public economic policies.
Traditionally, macroeconomics has not been a major focus of agricultural and applied economics departments. That may have been acceptable in past decades when the main focus of our Departments was on production and marketing for farms and businesses. But, today, the agricultural, food, energy and resource industries are greatly concerned with the state of the economy and with policies that shape the economic milieu in which they must operate. It will be increasingly useful for our students and our clientele to understand macroeconomics, and increasingly important that our faculties contribute to that understanding.
The workshop will feature speakers addressing the role of agricultural and applied economics departments in supporting macroeconomic literacy, economic education programs supported by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, teaching tools from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, integrating macro into an agricultural economics curriculum, effective teaching of macroeconomics, and much more. Department Heads may wish to encourage selected faculty to attend in order to bring the discussion of macroeconomic literacy back to your departments. Registration is open and available online, sign up early since there is a limit on attendance.
Income Inequality to be Focus of A Track Session at Annual Meeting
Income inequality has grown markedly in the United States during recent decades. That fact is indisputable. But there is considerable debate and controversy over the causes, consequences and cures. The issue is important to agricultural economists if there are implications for economic mobility, rural economies, food demand, poverty and all the agricultural, food, energy and natural resource policies with which we are concerned.
The AAEA Senior Section has joined forces with the Community and Regional Economic Network to sponsor a track session at the Annual Meeting in Minneapolis titled, “Income Inequality in the United States: Measures, Causes, Effects, and Possible Remedies”. Speakers in this session will examine the growth, persistence, and causes of inequality and evaluate programs to reduce its effects.
Whatever one’s personal and political views on the topic of income inequality, it will be a major subject of public discourse in the years ahead. That discourse, especially among economists, should be shaped by factual information to the extent possible. This session will be a good place to start. Watch for your AAEA Annual Meeting program and put this track session on your “must attend” list.