People and awards of 2016-2017

The Department of AFRE congratulates several faculty who received awards and says goodbye to former faculty members who passed away this year.

June 1, 2017

People and Awards

Bob Myers will be made a fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) at the annual meetings this summer. Congratulations, Bob!

Jenny Cairns Smart (FSG survey and data analysis adviser) began working as a research analyst in the Development, Strategy and Governance Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in November 2016.

Nicole Mason received the MSU 2017 John K. Hudzik Emerging Leader in Advancing International Studies and Programs award in March 2017.

Cloé Garnache was elected to the Environment Science and Protection Program Faculty Advisory Council.

Serge Guigonan Adjognon received the 2016 Best Ph.D. Dissertation award for “Agricultural Finance, Non-Farm Employment, and Rural Poverty: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa.”  Major professor: Saweda Liverpool-Tasie.

Ashesh Prasann received a 2016 Best Ph.D. Dissertation honorable mention for “Spillover Effects of Public Works on Labor Markets -- Evidence from National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, India.”  Major professor: Andrew Dillon.

Jongwoo Kim received the 2016 Best M.S. Thesis award for “Fluid Milk Processors Market Power in Korean Dairy Industry: An Application of the Autoregressive Distributed Lag Approach.”  Major professor: David Weatherspoon.

Wen Lin, AFRE Ph.D. student, received first place in the 2016-2017 Shao Chang Lee Best Paper Competition, organized by the MSUAsianStudiesCenter, for her work on Chinese online food shopping behavior. Her adviser: David Ortega.


Harold M. Riley, 94, professor emeritus and former department chairperson of AFRE, passed away Jan. 31, 2017, in Clemson, South Carolina. Riley received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics at MSU following service in the U.S. Army during WW II.

After graduating from MSU, he was a member of the faculty at Kansas State University in 1948 before returning to join the MSU faculty in 1951. His career at MSU spanned over 35 years, including serving as department chairperson from 1972 through 1978. His research, teaching and outreach focused on improving the performance of agricultural markets and vertical coordination in the food system, both in the United States and in developing countries, especially Latin America. Above all, Riley was a consummate teacher, mentor, gentleman and colleague.

He served as major professor for 54 graduate students, designed and taught a course on the organization and performance of the food system (AEC 841) that remains a core element of AFRE’s graduate program. He mentored and welcomed new faculty members and students in the department, hosted department get-togethers that built social capital and worked closely with colleagues from throughout the world (including a two-year assignment in Colombia with USAID) to design and implement research and outreach aimed at improving food system performance.

In 2002, he was recognized by the Inter American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation as one of the 60 individuals who had made outstanding contributions to the progress of agriculture in the Americas in the previous 60 years. Riley is survived by his wife of 73 years, Dorothy (Dot), who was his partner over many years in making the department a welcoming environment for students and faculty and staff members.  More details about Professor Riley’s life and an opportunity to express condolences can be found at:

Allan Schmid, professor emeritus of AFRE, passed away April 5, 2017. Professor Schmid (1935-2017) was a university distinguished professor in AFRE, and his professional career at Michigan State University spanned more than 47 years.

He joined the Agricultural Economics faculty (now AFRE) at MSU in 1959 and retired in 2006. Throughout his career, Professor Schmid examined the nexus between politics and economics. Exploring the effects of institutions as sets of rules, he inquired into what factors shape institutions such as markets and how those institutions shape economic behavior. Through books such as “Property, Power and Public Choice” and many journal articles, he expressed his passion to understand the institutions of social, political and commercial life. His distinguished career was devoted to rigorous theoretical and empirical investigation of institutions using approaches drawn from economics, organization theory, law, political science and cognitive science.

Schmid was named the inaugural fellow of the Institutional and Behavioral Economics Section of the AAEA in 2010.  To commemorate Professor Schmid’s teaching excellence and research scholarship, AFRE established the A. Allan Schmid Endowed Fellowship in Institutional Economics through the generosity of Professor Schmid and his students, friends and colleagues. The Schmid Endowed Fellowship will continue to sustain his legacy in AFRE by offering support to graduate students pursuing the study of institutional economics. Donations to the A. Allan Schmid Endowed Fellowship are welcome. More information on Professor Schmid’s life and an opportunity to express condolences can be found at:

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