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President's Column

May 2024

As an added service to the Code of Conduct Policy that we already have in place, the AAEA Executive Board has approved the establishment and implementation of a Reporting Lockbox. This initiative will allow members to log allegations of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation involving other members via an encrypted, time-stamped online tool. It will provide members with a confidential avenue to document incidents and offers prevention and support measures. Key features will include a privacy policy, user authentication, and account management. We will share more information as we iron out the logistical details, including the development of the online lockbox system. The AAEA Board has also approved a proposal to hold an Early Career Mentoring Workshop in Davis, CA in December 2024. Thank you and congratulations to the Mentoring Committee for receiving a NIFA conference grant funding for this workshop.

AAEA representatives met with leadership of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) a few weeks ago to discuss recently announced program changes that include the discontinuation of the July Cattle report and the Cotton Objective Yield Survey, as well as all County Estimates for Crops and Livestock beginning with the 2024 production year. In addition, NASS has announced changes for the following programs: Citrus, Field Crops, Livestock, Mushrooms, Non-citrus Fruit and Tree Nut and Vegetables. In many cases, the program changes include a reduction in the number of individual states that will be reported. We reiterated the critical importance of NASS data and voiced strong concerns about the impacts of the survey discontinuations and program changes. NASS stressed that the decision to discontinue these surveys and reports was not made lightly but was necessary given appropriated budget levels for FY 2024. They hope to be able to reinstate discontinued/reduced programs if the budget situation is better in FY 2025. We will also be sending a letter to the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees regarding the impacts of the NASS program changes and reiterate the need for sufficient funding in the FY 2025 appropriations process.

I hope you will be able to join our annual meeting in New Orleans in late July. We will have a fantastic set of sessions including:

We will also be adding up to two additional virtual-only sessions per Section that will take place either before or after the 2024 annual meeting dates. The AAEA Business Office will assist with scheduling and promoting these virtual sessions.

The Gordon Rausser Keynote Address will be given by Aaron Clauset (University of Colorado, Boulder) who will talk about faculty hiring and how faculty hiring networks shape the production and spread of scientific ideas. The Presidential Address will be given by Tim Beatty (UC Davis) who will talk about putting people at the center of agricultural economics. The Fellows Address will be given by Bruce McCarl (Texas A&M University). He will talk about climate change and the economic issues related to agricultural adaptation and mitigation. The Galbraith Forum speaker will be Catherine Wolfram (MIT) who will discuss the future of US climate and energy policy. Please take note of the new time for the Galbraith Forum (11:45 am on Tuesday, July 30).

Other events during the AAEA meetings include:

We will also be celebrating our new class of 2024 AAEA Fellows: Titus Awokuse, Oral Capps, Jr., Steven Deller, Rachael Goodhue, Tom Marsh, and Alfons Weersink. Being designated an AAEA Fellow stands as the highest honor conferred by the AAEA.

Thank you to Mike Boehlje (Professor Emeritus, Purdue University) for establishing an endowment for a new AAEA fellowship program in agribusiness management. The purpose of this Fellowship is to provide financial support for PhD students with an interest in agribusiness management. The goal is to support the education of graduate students for faculty positions in agricultural/applied economics academic departments in the critical area of agribusiness management. See

Thank you,

Rudy Nayga
AAEA President