Tom Reardon Named an Honorary Life Member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists
Honorary Life Member is the IAAE's highest professional honor
Tom Reardon, a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics(AFRE) at Michigan State University (MSU) and long-standing member of the AFRE Food Security Group, has been named an Honorary Life Member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE). Founded in 1929, the IAAE is a professional association of agricultural economists with thousands of members around the world. Honorary Life Member is equivalent to "Fellow" in other associations, and is the highest honor awarded by the IAAE to its members. The award is given out every three years to a handful of members with international reputations in the field. Tom was similarly honored in 2014 when he was named a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), which was formerly the American Association of Agricultural Economics.
Reflecting on this award, Tom said, “I am truly grateful to the IAAE for this recognition and to be honored by my agricultural, food, and resource economics colleagues globally.”
Tom is a leading expert globally in the transformation of food value chains: the “Supermarket Revolution” and the “Quiet Revolution” (the diffusion of small to medium enterprises in the midstream of value chains), and their impacts on farms, consumption/nutrition, and employment in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His field survey-based research in these regions has been a fundamental influence on food economics thinking globally for the past several decades.
AFRE Chairperson and University Distinguished Professor Scott Swinton says, “Tom Reardon has an extraordinary track record of sustained, direct collaboration with development research institutions on every major continent. His direct field research has put him at the cutting edge of recognizing transformations in world food systems. He is truly deserving of this honor.”
Tom received his Ph.D. in 1984 from UC Berkeley, then was a Research Fellow with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) before joining the faculty at MSU in 1992.
Tom has led major international research programs and taught agricultural and food markets and development at the undergraduate and graduate levels and advised more than 100 masters and doctoral students. Tom says, “I am grateful for the support and encouragement over the years by my collaborators in the institutions where I built my career, but my deepest and lifetime gratitude goes to my parents, neither of whom attended high school. My mother constantly urged me to ‘study hard Tommy!’ and my old dad to observe and think about the meaning of what I saw.”