Midwest Agriculture and Shifting Consumer Preferences
On December 1, 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will hold a 10am virtual event on Midwest agriculture and the changes it may face from shifts in consumer demand. The featured speaker will be Jayson Lusk, Department Head and Distinguished Professor in Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics.
Jayson Lusk is a Purdue University food and agricultural economist who studies what we eat and why we eat it. He was previously Regents Professor and Willard Sparks Endowed Chair in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University and assistant professor at Mississippi State University and Purdue University, before being appointed a distinguished professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue. Since 2000, Lusk has published more than 200 journal articles in peer-reviewed journals, including several of the most-cited papers in the profession. He has served on the editorial councils of eight academic journals, including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and Food Policy. He was elected to and served on the executive committees of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, the Western Agricultural Economics Association, and most recently the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), for which he served as president. Lusk was named a fellow of the AAEA in 2015.
In 2007 Lusk cowrote a book on experimental auctions, as well as an undergraduate textbook on agricultural marketing and price analysis. In 2011 Lusk released a book, cowritten with Bailey Norwood, on the economics of farm animal welfare, and also co-edited the Oxford Handbook on the Economics of Food Consumption and Policy. In 2013 he published The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate, which is a popular book. His latest popular book is Unnaturally Delicious: How Science and Technology are Serving Up Super Foods to Save the World.
Lusk has a BS in food technology and a PhD in agricultural economics from Kansas State University.
Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz covers the food industry for the Chicago Tribune’s business section. During her two years on the beat, she has written about food insecurity, farming innovation, grocery store competition, restaurants grappling with labor costs, and the struggles of packaged-food giants to satisfy changing consumer tastes, among myriad other topics. A journalist for 18 years, Elejalde-Ruiz previously covered workplace issues, the retail sector, and lifestyle features at the Tribune, and before that she had stints at RedEye, the Daily Herald, and the City News Service. Elejalde-Ruiz graduated from Brown University, where she studied international relations.
Within RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, Nicholas Fereday is covering research on the North American value-added processing sector. Prior to joining Rabobank, he was a senior economist and vice president of sales, research, and marketing at LMC International, an independent economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector. Prior to LMC, Fereday worked as a senior research economist for the Natural Resources Institute in the UK. Additionally, he has worked as a freelance economic journalist, a senior economist with the government of Papua New Guinea, and a lecturer/tutor in applied economics. Fereday holds an MSc in agricultural economics from Reading University in the UK.
Sam Funk provides insights on agriculture, trade, and the economy, with a focus on factors impacting Iowa farms and the value of Iowa agriculture. As the lead for data acquisition and analysis for the largest general farm organization in Iowa, he provides evidence-based information for consideration in decision-making. Funk brings experience as a farmer, the chief economist of the United Soybean Board (the organization responsible for managing investment of the national soybean checkoff), economist for the Illinois Farm Bureau, and economic consultant to several Fortune 500 firms and family farms. He earned his PhD in agricultural economics from Kansas State University, and he has served on the faculty of land-grant universities, sharing insights on farm economics and agriculture policy.
Leslie McGranahan is a vice president and director of regional research in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Her primary research interests relate to the effects of federal, state, and local government policy on individuals and households. She has written about numerous government programs including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and the sales tax. She also closely follows regional and national developments in government spending and revenues.
McGranahan's research has been published in journals including the National Tax Journal and the Journal of Political Economy. Her work has also been featured in the Chicago Fed Letter and Economic Perspectives, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's publications.
McGranahan returned to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2004 after working as a lecturer at the University of Warwick, and as research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, England. She received a bachelor's degree in politics from Princeton University and master's and doctorate degrees in economics from Northwestern University.
David Oppedahl is a senior business economist in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Oppedahl conducts research on the agricultural sector and rural development, as well as analyzes business conditions and the regional economy. He directs the Federal Reserve District of Chicago's survey of agricultural banks on agricultural land values and credit conditions and publishes the results in AgLetter—the Chicago Fed's quarterly agricultural publication. In addition to his research, he regularly briefs the Chicago Fed's president on the agricultural economy and organizes the annual Agriculture Conference.
Before starting his career at the Chicago Fed as an associate economist in 1998, Oppedahl was a consultant in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. While at the Dallas Fed, he provided research support in the area of econometrics.
Oppedahl received a BS in mathematics from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, and an MS in statistics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He also completed graduate-level course work in economics while attending Southern Methodist University.