I write this note during challenging times. Many of us are working from home learning to teach, or collaborate on-line. We also face challenges for the future.
First, let me address the question of our summer meetings. We are continuing to plan for the 2020 AAEA Annual Meeting taking place July 26-28 in Kansas City, MO. The AAEA Staff and Board are aware of the concerns and uncertainties related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our top priority is the health, safety, and security of our meeting attendees. We are closely monitoring developments and we appreciate the concerns and information shared with us during this time. We will continue to evaluate and let our membership know the status of those meetings and if we do cancel what alternatives are planned.
I am proud of the rapid initiation of several efforts to meet the needs of our members during COVID-19. For example:
- AAEA hosted conference calls with our section and committee leaders to update them on recent events and initiatives.
- The AAEA Mentoring Committee organized an interactive meeting to discuss the situation our junior colleagues graduating this year, ending post-doctoral or visiting positions and planning to be on the job market may be facing.
- The AAEA Online Learning and Teaching Resources Task Force is working to facilitate peer support for members who are transitioning to online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. AETR is involved with this effort.
- The AJAE and the AEPP are both working on special issues related to COVID-19.
I also want to encourage members to vote on the AAEA election ballot that went out on April 15th. Thank you to those who were willing to run for these offices. It is an honor to serve our profession.
The USDA/REE is soliciting comments and suggestions regarding research goals for the future. Written comments must be received by August 1, 2020. Topics include digital agriculture, advanced analytics for managing food and agricultural systems, and systems based farm management. I encourage AAEA members to comment and share your ideas with AAEA.
Finally, I want to note how many members have been visible in the media explaining the various issues that COVID-19 has presented for our food system. Once again the AAEA demonstrating relevance.