Scott Swinton

Scott Swinton

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University Distinguished Professor
Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee



Ph.D., University of Minnesota
M.S., Cornell University
B.A., Swarthmore College

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Scott Swinton is a University Distinguished Professor in agricultural and environmental economics. He teaches graduate research design and writing, and has taught undergraduate managerial and ecological economics, as well as farm management.  His economic research looks at agriculture as a managed ecosystem, focusing on management and policy analysis for enhanced ecosystem services. He concentrates on problems involving crop pest, pollination, and nutrient management; precision agriculture; resource conservation; bioenergy crop production; and management of risks to human health and income.  Besides his work on U.S. farming, he has extensive experience with agricultural and natural resource management in Latin America and Africa.  He served as President of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association during 2017-18 and on its elected Executive Board during 2012-15 and 2016-19.  MSU granted him its William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty award in 2015 and named him University Distinguished Professor in 2019.

Research and Outreach Interests

  • Design of incentives to induce adoption of environmentally beneficial farming technologies
  • Valuation of ecosystem services linked to agriculture
  • Design of sustainable bioenergy production systems
  • Formulation of compelling research arguments

Teaching Experience

  • Research Design and Writing in Applied Economics (AFRE 891, graduate, 2018-20, 2023)
  • Economics of Decision Making in the Agri-food System (ABM 303, undergraduate, 2016, 2018-20)
  • Applied Microeconomics (AFRE 900A, graduate, 2011-14).
  • Agricultural Production Economics (AEC 855, graduate, 1994-98, 2000-10). 
  • Ecological Economics (EEP 255, undergraduate, 2007, 2009)
  • Agricultural Operations Management (AEC 851, graduate, 2003-04, 2006).
  • Agricultural Firm Management (AEC 851, graduate, 1993-96, 1998).
  • Farm Business Management (FSM 330, undergraduate, 1991-98).

Administrative Experience

Associate chairperson for graduate study, 2011-16.

Chairperson, 2021-23.