Ph.D., 1953. University of Minnesota
M.S., 1948. University of Minnesota
B.S., 1948. University of Minnesota
Vernon L Sorenson, Professor Emeritus, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University. Vernon was born in 1922, in Fillmore County, Minnesota. He graduated from Le Roy High School in 1939. After his military service in 1945, Vernon obtained a B.S. degree in Agricultural Business Administration, and Master and PhD degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota. In 1953, he joined the faculty of Michigan State University, retiring in 1990.
While at MSU, he published extensively, contributed to agricultural and trade policy formulation, and was a teacher and leader both inside and outside of the classroom. Initially focused on domestic agricultural issues, his emphasis later shifted to international teaching and research programs. In 1964-65, Vernon served in Paris, France as a Foreign Service officer of the U.S. Department of State, dealing primarily with agricultural policy conflicts among industrial nations. He was consultant to the agricultural policy division of OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Sorenson and other MSU faculty and students spearheaded a major collaborative research effort to determine the potential economic impact of European unity on U.S. agricultural exports. Six research monographs were produced.
He published a major text book in 1975: International Trade Policy: Agriculture and Development which has been used widely in graduate level teaching. From 1977 to 1981 he served as Assistant Administrator for Trade Policy, Foreign Agricultural Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. He was editor, Agricultural Market Analysis, M.S.U. Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 1964. He served with the St. Paul Bank for Cooperatives as Business Analyst, 1950.
Honors: American Farm Economics Assoc. Thesis Award, 1953.
Professor Sorenson, age 88, died on May 5, 2011, in Lansing, Michigan after a brief illness, with his wife of nearly 66 years by his side.