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International Architecture for Food and Agriculture: Focus of a Track Session at Annual Meeting!

After nearly two decades of neglect, food and agriculture are back on the international agenda following the 2007-2008 food and financial crises. The international community has adopted the goal to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve shared prosperity by 2030. “Towards a more Effective Global Architecture for Food and Agriculture” surveys the food and agricultural development  assistance delivered by five major international organizations (the World Bank Group, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Programme, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research) since their establishment to gauge their relevance, effectiveness and impacts in a dramatically changed world for agriculture in developing countries.

The project is an outgrowth of a meeting convened at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in October 2010 to explore how the challenges and opportunities of the global food and agriculture system could be addressed by identifying the core needs for international coordination and management of the system and how best to structure that system. The study draws on research, evaluations, interviews and authors’ operational experience to assess organizational responses to the changing external and internal environment to address the post 2015 agenda: What do they need to do to remain relevant and effective?

Muy Grande: Role of Latin American Economies in Global Agricultural Markets

Question: What do drugs, T-TIP, and farm policies have in common?

Answer: Drugs, T-TIP, and Latin American farm policies are a unique combination of topics being addressed in an AAEA invited paper session that you will not want to miss at the 2014 AAEA Annual Meeting extravaganza. 

This combination of invited papers brings together economic experts from the University of Sao Paulo, University of Miami, Stanford University, Fresno State University, and Texas A&M University, all of which have experience dealing with cutting-edge Latin American agricultural and agribusiness issues. In the 21st Century the Latin American countries are expected to be key players in global food markets and important contributors to expanding food demand. The realization of these expectations will be influenced by domestic policies of key Latin American countries; the TPP and T-TIP trade agreements that are in the process of being negotiated; and the drug trade which is believed to be impacting Latin American agricultural productivity. Each of the three papers will review the state of knowledge and present original research results. The implications for regional policy adjustments and research needs will be identified.

The first paper will provide a real-time overview of major domestic agricultural Latin American country policies constraining food production capacity and productivity. As a case example, this paper will then present the consequences of the agricultural expansion in Brazil in the light of its biofuel policies and increasing international demand for agricultural products.

While the developing drug culture, the drug mafia, and its related gang warfare has received substantial attention, its impacts on the agriculture sector is seldom mentioned. Known cases exist where farmers and ranchers in Mexico have been driven from their land. Yet quantitative research into the impacts on agricultural productivity is virtually nonexistent. In the second paper, time series analysis will be applied to the agriculture sector and drug culture data to identify economic impacts and causal relationships.

Trade agreements that account large shares of global agricultural trade are being negotiated among the majority countries that boarder on the Pacific Ocean (TPP) and between the US and the EU (T-TIP). Substantial research has identified the economic impacts that these agreements could have upon the countries who are party to these agreements. After providing an overview of TPP and T-TIP, the third paper will assess the economic impacts on countries that are not party to these agreements.

Graduate Extension Competition

Each year, the Extension Section in collaboration with the Graduate Student Section (GSS) holds and sponsors the Graduate Student Extension Competition. This competition provides graduate student competitors the opportunity to develop extension and outreach programs from their research. The development of education materials and presentations suitable for a general public audience is expected. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three teams.

We encourage all departments with graduate students in agricultural economics, agribusiness, natural resource economics, community resource economics, applied economics or similar programs related to agriculture and/or the food system to inform their students about this important competition.

Purpose of the Competition
The competition provides incentives to graduate students to learn to prepare and present appropriate analytical results for an extension (usually non-economist) audience. This can be based upon the graduate student’s research for a thesis or dissertation. Participation in the competition is expected to enhance the professional growth of the participating students regarding extension programs.

Who’s Eligible?
Eligible applicants are:

  • Graduate students currently engaged in agricultural economics, agribusiness, natural resources, and community resource economics, applied or similar economics MS or PhD programs related to agriculture and/or the food system
  • Those who graduated from such programs in 2013 or later

Note: Participants must identify and work with a mentor with experience in outreach or extension activities.

Competition Application Information
Applications should be addressed to Maria Marshall and must include:

  • Student’s name, university, department, address and contact information
  • Title of the extension program to be delivered
  • A summary of the proposed extension program. This should include target audience, delivery plans, communication methods and activities planned for distributing the information to the public such as with fact sheets, pamphlets, press releases, reports, web sites, streaming videos, spreadsheets, workshops, PowerPoint presentations and training activities to be conducted (4 page maximum)
  • A profile of the student applicant’s background as well as the related thesis title and brief description of the research (maximum 1 page)
  • The mentor’s name, address and description of the mentor’s role in assisting the student with this project

Submission Deadline
Applications must be submitted electronically no later than May 16, 2014.

Selection of Finalists
Finalists will be selected to make an extension/outreach presentation at the AAEA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis MN, July 27, 2014, to a panel of judges. Selection of the finalists will be based on the material submitted and the criteria listed below.

Criteria for Selecting Finalists
Criteria for judging the finalist and winners will include:

  1. Identification of a target audience.
    1. An explanation of the issue/problem/opportunity being addressed
    2. An explanation on how this target audience was identified
  2. Development of an extension program for the target audience that includes:
    1. An outline of the goals of the extension program
    2. A summary and an explanation of the main elements of the thesis or dissertation results to be included in the extension program. Include a description of how the research results will address the issue/problem/opportunity and benefit the target audience
    3. A summary of the program in an extension report, or extension PowerPoint presentation, or other appropriate extension communication media that the audience can take home. This summary should be an explanation that would be effective in accomplishing the extension goals as identified in step 2a above
  3. An explanation of extension team development and responsibilities in terms of program development and delivery should be addressed, if appropriate
  4. Plans for evaluating the effectiveness of the extension program

Extension/Outreach presentation at the AAEA Annual Meeting
Each finalist must develop oral and visual presentations (15-20 minutes in length) for delivery at the AAEA Annual Meeting. The top three finalists are be expected to make presentations during an AAEA Extension section track session.

Cash awards will be given to the top three graduate students in this competition. Award funding is provided by the Farm Foundation and the AAEA Extension Section. Awards are:

  • First Place: $1,000 and a plaque
  • Second Place: $300 and a certificate
  • Third Place: $200 and a certificate
  • Other finalists receive finalist certificates

The top three competitors selected will be recognized at the AAEA Awards ceremony. All finalists are guests at the Extension Luncheon during the AAEA Annual Meeting. Luncheon tickets will be provided to all finalists.

Submit Entries to:
Dr. Maria Marshall
Competition Committee Chair
Agriculture Economics Department
Purdue University
Phone: 765-494-4268

AEM/GSS Case Study Competition

The case study competition is a long and prestigious tradition in the Graduate Student Section. Every year, groups of students have a chance to show off their case study skills and win prize money as well as the great honor of being a case study competition winner. In collaboration with the Agribusiness Econometrics and Management Section, the Graduate Student Section Case Study Competition allows graduate students to test their communication skills and their ability to apply their knowledge of agricultural economics and agribusiness subjects to practical situations. Students competing in the competition will receive a copy of the case study at least two weeks in advance of the AAEA Annual Meeting.

AEM/GSS Case Study Competition Rules:

Each team should prepare an oral summary of their solution to the case that will last no more than 15 minutes. Presentations lasting over 15 minutes will be penalized. After the presentation, teams should be prepared to answer questions from the judges on their interpretation of the case.

Teams can be comprised of up to three graduate students. Students may either compete as a team from the same school, or may choose to be mixed with students from other schools. If there is only one student from a school that wants to participate, the student can compete on their own, or he/she can be matched with other students. In the case of teams that are matched with individuals from different universities, competitors will be notified of their teammates as soon as possible, but no later than the same day the case is announced.

AEM/GSS Case Study Competition Prizes:

The top three teams will receive plaques and cash prizes.

  • First Place: $300
  • Second Place: $200
  • Third Place: $100

Specific Information for the 2014 Case Study Competition:

The number of rounds will be determined by the number of teams entered. The final round will be composed of the top 3 teams. In addition to plaques and cash prizes, the three finalist teams will also be recognized during the AAEA Awards Ceremony.

  • Sunday, July 27, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: First Rounds of Competition
  • Monday, July 28, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Final Round
  • Monday, July 28, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Awards Ceremony

Students participating in the case study competition will need to be registered for the Annual Meeting AND the Case Study Competition.

Students should register for the AAEA Annual Meeting through the 2014 Annual Meeting Registration Form which is available online.

Each team must also complete the Case Study registration form identifying their teammates and send it to AAEA no later than June 16, 2014.

Please direct any questions regarding the 2014 AAEA Case Study Competition to Dr. Aslihan Spaulding ( or GSS Section Chair, Brandon McFadden (