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President's Column

November 2015

The calendar year is winding down, but travel, planning, and reporting are heating up for many who work in the field of agricultural and applied economics.  Since my last column, I have attended a conference on the east coast and one in Europe.  I find it extremely valuable to converse with colleagues from other universities, the government, and industry.  I observed other professional associations doing an outstanding job of engaging with their conference attendees who are employed in government and industry, and I hope AAEA can improve in this area.  I am working with our leadership team to improve our engagement and service both from my own observations and from members’ feedback.  

One specific area in which we are seeking improvement is employment services.  The job market in agricultural and applied economics has changed a great deal over the past decade.  More than in the past, recruitment occurs at the Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) meetings and most exchanges, prior to interviews, are electronic.  We are considering new ways to support job seekers and employers who are participating in the ASSA job market, such as an AAEA Employment Services Reception for both employers and job seekers at the 2017 ASSA meetings.  We also recognize significant hiring decisions are still made as a result of interviews conducted at AAEA Annual Meetings, especially in government and industry.  Thus, we also plan to invest in the Annual Meeting Employment Center with increased staff support services and a simplified online interface.  My colleagues on the Executive Board and I would appreciate additional suggestions about how to improve in this area.

I am happy to report, thanks to our collaboration between the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE), and AAEA Government Relations Committee, I have been invited to attend a meeting called “Raising the Profile of Agriculture” on December 1, 2015. The meeting is being hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in conjunction with the USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy.  At the meeting, I will be invited to share ideas for bolstering research in the agricultural sciences—including economics—and for recruiting students to tackle the global challenges of food and energy production. 

Please plan to attend the 2016 AAEA Annual Meeting in Boston, July 31-August 2.  The deadlines are quickly approaching.  December 3, 2015, is the deadline for Track Sessions, Case Study Invited Paper Sessions, Invited Paper Sessions, and Pre/Post-conference Workshops.  Proposals for Selected Presentations and Organized Symposia are due January 14, 2016.  I am looking forward to an outstanding program in Boston!

Jill McCluskey
AAEA President