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2018 AAEA Annual Award Winners

Thank you to the Awards Committee Chair, Rodolfo Nayga; Board Liaison, Jeffrey Dorfman; committee members Joan Fulton and Matt Rousu, and all who graciously volunteered their time and efforts to serve on an AAEA Award Selection Committee!

Class of 2018 Fellows

  • George Norton, Virginia Tech
  • Jill McCluskey, Washington State University
  • John Beghin, North Carolina State University
  • Marcel Fafchamps, Stanford University
  • Thomas Jayne, Michigan State University

Undergraduate Student Section Awards

  • Academic Bowl
    • First Place: University of Kentucky
      • Josey Moore
      • Zoe Gabrielson
      • Erica Rogers
    • Second Place: Texas A&M University
    • Third Place: Oregon State University
  • Outstanding Paper Competition
    • First Place: Skyler Schneekloth, Iowa State University
      "Measuring and Explaining the Increasing Market Share of Large U.S. Farms, 1959-2012"
    • Second Place: Jeffrey Hadachek, Kansas State University
      "Economic Burden of Grocery Sales Tax on Rural Grocery Stores Versus Walmart in Kansas"
    • Third Place: Shea Gould, Mississippi State University
      "Divvying Up the Pie: U.S. Adults’ Preferences for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Spending”
  • Outstanding Chapter Award
    • Iowa State University
      • Advisor: Georgeanne Artz

Graduate Student Section Awards

  • Graduate Student Case Study Competition
    • First Place: Michigan State University, advised by Robert Myers
      • Braeden Van Deynze
      • Stephan Morgan
      • Samantha Padilla
    • Second Place: Mississippi State University, advised by Adrian Harri
      • Hunter Biram
      • Caroline Kelsoe
      • Kaylee Wells
    • Third Place: Kansas State University, advised by Jason Bergtold
      • Hannah Shear
      • Eric Ofori
      • Paul Aseete
  • Graduate Student Extension Competition
    • First Place: Justin Benavidez, Texas A&M University
    • Second Place: Tori Marshall, Mississippi State University
    • Third Place: Carlos Fontanilla-Diaz, Purdue University

Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award

  • Sachintha Mendis, University of Wyoming
    “Estimating Demand for Food Quantity and Quality in China”

Honorable Mention

  • Savannah Noray, Montana State University
    “Male Migration and Family-Related Outcomes”

Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation

  • Aleks Schaefer, University of California, Davis
    “The Economics of Artemisinin and the Global Spread of Malaria”
  • Ellen McCullough, University of Georgia
    “Structural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa:  Agricultural Productivity, Labor Supply, and Occupational Choice”

Honorable Mention

  • Yu Na Lee, University of Minnesota
    “Three Essays on the Economics of Price Volatility”

Distinguished Teaching Awards

Less than Ten Years’ Experience

  • Sierra Howry, University of Wisconsin, River Falls

Undergraduate Teaching: Ten or More Years’ Experience

  • James Sterns, Oregon State University

Graduate Teaching: Ten or More Years’ Experience

  • Gerald Shively, Purdue University

Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program Awards

Individual: Less than Ten Years’ Experience

  • Lee Schulz, Iowa State University

Individual: Ten or More Years’ Experience

  • Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK)
    Alison Davis, Simona Balazs, Shane Barton, Melissa Bond, Sarah Bowker, Karen Fawcett, Joe Kercsmar, Sky Marietta, Melody Nall, Luke Ramsay, Jairus Rossi, Ryan Sandwick, Su Troske, Dan Kahl, Lori Garkovich, Jayoung Koo, Sookti Chaudhary, and Lucas Taulbee, University of Kentucky

Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis

  • Scott Irwin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Dwight Sanders, Southern Illinois University
    “The Impact of Index and Swap Funds on Commodity Futures Markets”

Quality of Communication Award

  • Jayson Beckman, USDA-ERS, Kari Heerman, USDA-ERS, and John Dyck, USDA-ERS
    “The Global Landscape of Agricultural Trade”

Honorable Mention

  • Jilliene Drayton, USDA-ERS, Mark Jekanowski, USDA-ERS, Alex Melton, USDA-ERS, Rosanna Mentzer Morrison, USDA-ERS, Constance Newman, USDA-ERS, Cynthia Nickerson, USDA-ERS, Ethiene Salgado-Rodriguez, USDA-ERS, and Dennis Vilorio, USDA-ERS
    “2017 Charts of Note”

Quality of Research Discovery Award

  • Martin Smith, Duke University, Justin Kirkpatrick, Duke University, Frank Asche, University of Florida, Atle Oglend, Lori Bennear,  J. Kevin Craig, and James Nance
    “Seafood Prices Reveal Impacts of a Major Ecological Disturbance”

Publication of Enduring Quality Award

  • Brian Wright, University of California, Berkeley; Jeffrey Williams, University of California, Davis
    "Storage and Commodity Markets"

Outstanding American Journal of Agricultural Economics Article Award

  • Colin Carter, University of California, Davis, Gordon Rausser, University of California, Berkeley, and Aaron Smith, University of California, Davis
    “Commodity Storage and the Market Effects of Biofuel Policies,” AJAE. (2017): 99 (4): 1027–1055.

Honorable Mention

  • Xiaodong Du, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hongli Feng, Michigan State University, and David Hennessey
    “Rationality of Choices in Subsidized Crop Insurance Markets,” AJAE. (2017): 99 (3): 732–756.

Outstanding Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy Article Award

  • Nathaniel Jensen, International Livestock Research Institute, and Christopher Barrett, Cornell University
    “Agricultural Index Insurance for Development,” AEPP. (2017): 39 (2): 199–219                  

Outstanding Choices Article

  • Beau Olen, Oregon State University, and JunJie Wu, Oregon State University
    “Tracking the Evolution and Recent Development in Whole Farm Insurance Programs,” 2017 (3rd Quarter)

Honorable Mention

  • Prithviraj Lakkakula, North Dakota State University, and Frayne Olson, North Dakota State University
    “Sweeteners May Leave a Sour Note on NAFTA Renegotiations,” 2017 (4th Quarter)

Anthony Grano Scholarship

  • Chinonso Etumnu, Purdue University and Maria Vrachioli, Technical University of Munich

Sylvia Lane Mentor Fellowship

  • Graciela Andrango, Western Illinois University

Uma Lele Mentor Fellowship

  • Ismat Ara Begum, Bangladesh Agricultural University

Chester O. McCorkle Jr. Student Scholarship

  • Jose Nuno, Purdue University

AARES-AAEA Young Professional Exchange Program

Heading North Award

  • Alexandra Peralta, University of Adelaide

Heading South Award

  • Tor Tolhurst, University of California, Davis