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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Agricultural and Applied Economics

AAEA members release new research in AEPP

Starting in the early days of the pandemic, two researchers launched a weekly agricultural and applied economics research seminar. After two years and over 70 seminars, the same researchers asked themselves what the seminar series’ contribution to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging had been.

In the new article “The Contribution of the Online Agricultural and Resource Economics Seminar to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Agricultural and Applied Economics,” published in the journal Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Marc Bellemare, from the University of Minnesota, and Jeffrey Bloem, from the USDA Economic Research Service, reflect on how well the Online Agricultural and Resource Economics Seminar has achieved its goals of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

They found that on average, 52 people attend the seminar each week, with a maximum of 150 attendees. In addition, 62 percent of presenters were female, 8 percent were black, 15 percent were Hispanic, and 80 percent were pre-tenure. 

Bellemare and Bloem say, “We document the following lessons learned:

  1. There is demand for a diverse seminar series.
  2. There is no diversity-merit trade-off.
  3. People can and do adapt to change.
  4. Attendance at our seminar is unrelated to the topic area; if anything, it is determined by seasonal factors.
  5. The marginal benefit of the OARES exceeds the marginal cost.
  6. Community building is a worthwhile endeavor for promoting DEIB.”

A majority of the seminars can be found on the YouTube page: If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190