September 28, 2021

Event to highlight agricultural economists who recently served in Washington

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Former top-level D.C. agricultural economists will take part in a panel discussion at the 2021 James C. Snyder Memorial event, presented by the Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics.

The panel, which will be held virtually at 1:30 p.m. April 16, will feature:

• Ted McKinney, who served as the first U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs from 2017-2021.

• Matt Erickson, who was chief economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry from 2015-2021 and currently is agricultural economic and policy adviser for Farm Credit Services of America and Frontier Farm Credit.

• Rob Johansson, who was chief economist for the USDA from 2015-2021 and now serves as associate director of economics and policy analysis for the American Sugar Alliance.

• Joe Balagtas, who senior economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2019-2020 and is currently an associate professor of agricultural economics at Purdue.

The panel will be led by Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and department head of agricultural economics at Purdue.

“The Snyder lecture has emerged as one of the signature annual events in the life of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue. The lectures were started in 1975 and were named in honor of the late James Snyder, a distinguished member of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue,” Lusk said, adding that the event over the years has featured quite a number of prominent speakers who have focused on diverse topics.

Lusk said the goal of the memorial event is to attract speakers that will enlighten the audience about current events and trends that are related to economics and agriculture.

“This aims to provide a perspective from legislative and executive branches, political appointments and civil servants, from people who have recently served in D.C.,” he said.

He plans on asking the panelists about their experiences, challenges they faced and creative policy responses instituted, including what worked and what didn’t.

Lusk said he also plans to get insights on where ag policy, as well as the agricultural economy, is heading and how the audience can best engage in the policy process.

“The panel is open to anyone who would like to attend,” he said, adding that the audience for the Snyder lecture typically consists of department faculty, staff and students and, depending on the topic and speaker, alumni and other individuals from around the campus.

Lusk said he is hoping this year’s panel will attract an even larger crowd than usual.

More information about the event can be found at https://bit.ly/39gxd4O.

Ashley Estes

Ashley Estes

Field Editor