Improving Midwest Agriculture and the Environment
On November 20, 2019, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held a conference to examine environmental issues related to Midwest agriculture, with a particular focus on conservation practices. Experts from academia, industry, and policy institutions gathered to discuss the connections between midwestern agriculture, the environment, and the regional economy. The goals of the conference include understanding the impacts of agriculture and conservation practices on the health of populations and their surroundings; analyzing farming policies that affect natural resources; and exploring how environmental considerations may affect the financing and sustainability of agriculture, which has generally been less profitable in recent years.
Dr. Robert Johansson serves as the Chief Economist at the Department of Agriculture (USDA). He has served in this role since July 2015. As Chief Economist, he is responsible for the Department's agricultural forecasts and projections and for advising the Secretary of Agriculture on economic implications of alternative programs, regulations, and legislative proposals. He is responsible for the Office of the Chief Economist, the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit analysis, the Climate Change Program Office, the Office of Environmental Markets, the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, and the Office of Pesticide Management Policy.
Dr. Johansson received B.A. in economics from Northwestern University and then served with the U.S. Peace Corps as an extension agent in several African countries from 1990 to 1995. After returning to his home State of Minnesota, he entered the graduate program in Agricultural Economics at the University of Minnesota at received his M.S. in 1997 and Ph.D. in 2000. His research has spanned a wide range of issues, including biofuels policy, water quality and quantity policies, regulatory economics, food security, and regional modeling of agricultural systems.