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President's Message

February 2023

To date, the most enjoyable parts of being President of AAEA were calls to the new class of AAEA Fellows. Some received the call, worried I would ask them to do something else for AAEA. Some were so busy that it was hard to reach them, so I had to track them down, literally around the world, or schedule appointments to tell them the good news. However, once I reached them and explained the purpose of the call, the expression of joy was palpable. Smiles shined through the phone. Some voiced whoops of joy. Honestly, I smiled for days from those calls. Again, David, Dawn, Elena, Holly, Keith, and Marc, congratulations on our highest honor. You have demonstrated excellence in your professional endeavors. On behalf of AAEA, I thank you for all you have done and will continue to do professionally. Further, thank you for what you have contributed to AAEA. You are examples to us all.

The editors of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics (AJAE) and I have received a conference grant from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to host the Conference on Economics of Inequity in Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Systems. Amy Ando, the managing editor of the AJAE, spearheaded this effort with support from the other editors. As a result, we hope to attract new papers that address inequalities and bring new insights to the fore.

Please consider submitting an abstract. The 1,000-word abstracts are due February 20, 2023, for the May 24-25, 2023 event. Given the funding parameters, the timing is tight, but we encourage your consideration. Even if you cannot participate in this session, I hope that the ethos of this effort and the resulting group of papers begin a broader conversation in our profession about the inequalities in agricultural, food, and environmental systems (AFES). I hope these papers and those that follow will go beyond identifying inequalities and work toward a more just AFES. Thank you Amy, Jesse, Jill, and Marc for your energy and intellectual contribution to this effort.

This gathering and the journal editors’ leadership exemplify AAEA’s efforts to stay true to our discipline and adhere to our Strategic Vision. In doing so, we are also expanding our reach to welcome new perspectives and voices. However, for the AAEA to remain true to these values, we must maintain welcoming and safe spaces. I want to remind everyone that AAEA has an Anti-Harassment and Code of Conduct Policy in place to protect our members and meeting attendees. AAEA has zero tolerance for, and prohibits any type of, discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, within the organization, at professional meetings, in the field, or anywhere professional activities are conducted under the aegis of AAEA. Violators of this policy will be subject to discipline or other action as AAEA may determine to be appropriate under the circumstances. Unfortunately, an alleged incident occurred at last year’s annual meeting in Anaheim and was brought to the attention of the AAEA Board. As our policy states, AAEA formed an investigation committee to examine these allegations, and legal counsel was also used for advisement during this process. However, at the time of this writing, the complainant could not be reached for a first hand report of the incident. As a result, the committee recommended no further action. I want to emphasize that all complaints are taken seriously.

If you have any questions about the policy or code of conduct, do not hesitate to get in touch with AAEA Executive Director Kristen McGuire at

Norbert Wilson
AAEA President