Dr. Keith H. Coble serves as the Vice President of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine (DAFVM) at Mississippi State University. The Division is central to MSU’s longstanding land-grant mission: research, teaching, and service. DAFVM faculty, staff, and students maintain our outstanding national reputation in a wide range of subject areas.
Coble obtained his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University in 1993. He then worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service before joining the Mississippi State University Department of Agricultural Economics faculty in 1997. At ERS, he gained valuable insights into the agricultural policy process. Risk analysis and management behavior have been a theme throughout his research and teaching career. This led to a focus on crop insurance and its associated policy. In addition to his journal articles, Coble has advised USDA on improving actuarial procedures. His work has also made significant contributions to understanding agricultural risk behavior. He also has been a champion for the application of agricultural data analytics. Coble has published more than 100 scientific research journal articles and 165 scientific conference papers. He has over 6500 google scholar citations.
In 2009 Coble was named a W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor at the University, an award reserved for those with a record of outstanding research, teaching, and service. In 2012 Coble received a Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award. In 2020, Coble was honored with the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He was named to the USDA Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics for 2020-2022. Coble is also a Fellow of the Farm Foundation Round table.
Coble first attended AAEA meetings in 1990 and became inspired by leaders of the profession at that time. He soon engaged in our sections and helped found the Applied Risk Analysis section. He has been elected twice as a leader of AAEA, first as a board director (2012-2015) and then the presidential series of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) 2018-2021. Two days into his term USDA announced ERS would be moved out of Washington DC. It was difficult for the Association to determine the appropriate path forward. Coble visited the USDA administration twice to support AAEA members at ERS and NIFA. Then the Association was confronted with the COVID crisis in 2020. In the end, the Association transitioned to on-line meetings while avoiding financial penalties, and AAEA membership climbed to over 3000 members.
As a faculty member, Coble held a three-way teaching/research/Extension appointment. For several years he taught an award-winning food and agricultural policy class. In 2013-2014 Coble was asked to serve as a Chief Economist for the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee – helping to write the 2014 Farm Bill. He served as head of the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics and helped create a new on-line Masters of Agribusiness Management Degree. In addition, he led the department in increasing its data science focus.