Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLEGE STATION – A team of agricultural economists have received a Vice Chancellor’s Award for partnership and collaboration on farm bill education.
The Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence recognizes the commitment and outstanding contributions of faculty and staff across Texas A&M AgriLife. The award was presented Jan. 14 at the AgriLife Center on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.
Award recipients from the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M are: Dr. James Richardson, Dr. Joe Outlaw, Dr. Henry Bryant and Dr. George Knapek. Recipients from the Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri are Dr. Patrick Westhoff and Peter Zimmel.
The two teams have collaborated to assist the House and Senate agriculture committees in drafting each farm bill since 1985. According to the nomination, the key to the team’s success with policy analysis has been the collaboration of two modeling approaches and the willingness to cross check and support each other.
For the analyses conducted for the agriculture committees, the team discussed the request and agreed on necessary assumptions and other details of how the analysis will go forward, changes to the sector and farm level models were completed based on the agreed plan and the new results were scrutinized by the team, according to the award nomination.
Stochastic price projections or estimating probability outcomes from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute model were passed to the Agricultural and Food Policy Center farm level model to project the probable impacts on representative farmers in principal production regions in the U.S. The process was optimized during the 1996 farm bill debate when the team conducted 16 separate analyses for the House Agriculture Committee over a two-month period that culminated in the House’s draft of the farm bill.
“The unique approach that AFPC takes is of essential value to Congress because it clearly illustrates the actual impact of federal policy proposals on representative farms,” wrote Frank Lucas, Chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. “Rather than merely quantifying the benefits to a farm or universe of farms under particular policy proposals, your work demonstrates the expected net effect of such policies on a producer’s bottom line.
“The Committee on Agriculture is grateful to the team for sticking with Congress for (a nearly three-year farm bill deliberation process, providing countless analytical runs, often called for late at night and under demanding timeframes, and for your prudential judgment that always accompanied your exceptional work.”
Wrote Robert Young II, chief economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, “From staff briefings to congressional testimony, from providing training ground for the development of new legislative staff, to just being a sounding board for agricultural policy issues, the team has been a major force in legislative development for several years.
“The partnership of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M and the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri has been a valuable resource for policy makers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For the last 27 years, various entities of the USDA and Congress have relied on the partnership’s unbiased analysis of farm policy changes when crafting the last five farm bills, as well as many other capacities.”