Another Successful Year for MSU AFRE at AAEA 2019

Faculty, graduate students, staff and alumni represented MSU at the 2019 AAEA conference in Atlanta on July 21-23, 2019.

Faculty, graduate students, staff and alumni represented MSU at the 2019 AAEA conference in Atlanta on July 21-23, 2019.

August 14, 2019 - Author: Maya Trowe

Nearly fifty faculty and students from MSU and the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) attended the 2019 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) meeting in Atlanta, Georgia to engage in scholarly activities and network with peers from around the world. Many AFRE faculty members are also actively engaged in the AAEA serving as leaders and organizers of key aspects of the organization and annual conference. The AAEA is the premier professional society for scholars and practitioners in the field of Applied and Agricultural Economics.

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Master's student McKenna Clifford presenting at the conference.

Dr. Titus Awokuse, AFRE Department Chair, was very impressed with the level and quality of representation by MSU faculty and students at the event. “It is always exciting to see so many MSU faculty and graduate students participate in the association's annual conference and have the opportunity to share valuable insights from their research and develop stronger professional networks,'' said Awokuse. “AFRE people have been particularly active in the AAEA via their leadership roles on various committees and they have received many awards in recognition of their contributions to the profession and society at large.”

Along with a strong faculty turnout, AFRE graduate students represented MSU in a number of competitions and research areas. Recent M.S. graduate Ari Kornelis received an honorable mention for Best Masters Thesis. AFRE M.S. student McKenna Clifford competed in the Graduate Student Section Extension Competition, and  graduate students April Athnos, Megan Bellinger, and Simone Faas received third place in the team Graduate Student Case Competition. AFRE graduate students came first place in the previous two years of the competition.

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Academic Program Coordinator for the Graduate Program Ashleigh Booth, Master's Student Megan Bellinger, and PhD Student Christine Sauer represent the department at the MSUAFRE booth.

“We feel we presented our case solution very well, and we were really comfortable and confident handling the judges’ questions,” says Simone Faas, who will graduate this December from the AFRE Master’s program. “We really appreciate the advice, feedback and support we received from Dr. John Whims, Dr. Christopher Peterson, and Dr. Robert Myers. They helped make this another successful year for AFRE at AAEA.”

“We feel we presented our case solution very well, and we were really comfortable and confident handling the judges’ questions,” says Simone Faas, who will graduate this December from the AFRE Master’s program. “We really appreciate the advice, feedback and support we received from Dr. John Whims, Dr. Christopher Peterson, and Dr. Robert Myers. They helped make this another successful year for AFRE at AAEA.”

Two AFRE faculty members were recognized at the conference as well. Professor Thomas Reardon received Honorable Mention for Publication of Enduring Quality Award for his paper, The Rise of Supermarkets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and Assistant Professor Vincenzina Caputo received the Sylvia Lane Mentor Fellowship Award: a fellowship that provides an opportunity for young female scholars involved in food, agricultural, or resource issues to collaborate with experts at a differing university, institution or firm.

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Master's Student Zach Luther presents at the conference.

According to April Athnos, a PhD candidate focused on environmental economics, the conference helped her prepare for future success as an agricultural economist. “Part of being successful as a researcher is incorporating the expertise and suggestions of others into your work every step of the way,” said Athnos. “Attending AAEA not only provides opportunities to show others what you’re working on but you also get to see what other people are researching. Attendance helps you stay current with the state of research and allows you to forge new relationships with people you might not normally run into.”

Athnos highly recommends attending the conference to those graduate students interested in agriculture.

“AAEA is one of the greatest opportunities for graduate students and ambitious undergraduate researchers to share their work with the professional Agricultural & Applied Economics community,” said Athnos. “It provides practice for presentation skills, networking events, and chances to receive feedback from experts. Many students are nervous about taking their work out for the first time, but this conference is a great place to do it.”

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MSUAFRE's Graduate Student Case Student Team April Athnos, Megan Bellinger, and Simone Faas.

Learn more about AFRE graduate students, faculty members, and last year’s AAEA events.

Tags: featured news, graduate student, graduate students

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