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About Us

Who we Are: The USDA Economists Group is a voluntary organization based at USDA in Washington, DC.  Our activities are funded only by annual membership dues.  Our mission and purposes are laid out below the annual USDA Economic Awards listings.  

Who We Are Not:  The USDA Economists Group has no formal affiliation with USDA.  The Department does not subsidize or endorse the Group.  As of the summer of 2012, approximately 40% of our membership are not USDA employees, and there is no requirement to be an economist.

Executive Board

Executive Board President (*):
Peyton Ferrier (AMS)  - 202-720-9367

Vice Presidents - Programs (*): 
Shawn Arita (OCE) 202-401-0497

Sharon Raszap (ERS) 202-690-0050

Vice President - Membership (*):

Sherry Grimm (AMS) - 202-720-8075

Treasurer  (*)
Bill Janis (FAS)  -  202-720-2194

Communications (Website / Listserver):

David Buland  (NRCS) - 817-295-9245

Immediate Past President (*):

Steve Neff (FAS) - 202-690-0855

Past Presidents:
Steve Neff (FAS) - 202-690-0855

Bill Janis (FAS)  -  202-720-2194

Felix Spinelli (NRCS)  - 202-720-6924

Jim Jacobs (RD)  -  202-619-0139
Parveen Setia (APHIS)  -  202-690-2824

Awards Chair:

Bruce McWilliams (FPAC-BC)

(*) = Voting Members of the Board

USDA Economist Group Awards:

Andrew Novakovic is presented the Bruce Gardner Award by USDA Acting Chief Economist Robert Johannson

Andrew M. Novakovic (right) recieving the Bruce Gardner Award with Acting Chief Economist Robert Johannson. Andrew M. Novakovic, Chairman of the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee at Cornell University received this award for invaluable assistance supporting the Office of the Chief Economist and the Agricultural Marketing Service in the reform of dairy policy that became part of the 2014 Farm Bill. The Bruce Gardner Award is given annually to a visiting ecnomist who has provided outstanding analysis and service in improving programs and policy.

Economist of the Year

1996  Joy Harwood (ERS)

1997  John Stierna (NRCS)

1999 Alex Barbarika (FSA)

2000  David Buland (NRCS)

2001  Larry Edmonds (NRCS)

2002  Charles Barnard (ERS)

2003  Michael Ollinger (ERS)

2004  Roger Schneider (GIPSA)

2005  James Schaub (ORACBA)

2006  Tom Tice (FSA)

2007  Frank Fillo (APHIS)

2008  Ron Trostle (ERS)

2009  Dr. K. Charles Ling (RD)

2010  Carol Goodloe (OCE)

2011  Tiffany Arthur (FSA)

2012  Skip Hyberg (FSA)

2013  June C. Grabemeyer (NRCS)

2014  Robert C. Johansson (USDA)

2015  Andrea Carlson (ERS)

2016  Barbara Fecso (FSA)

2017  Patrick Canning (ERS)

2018  Jayson Beckman (ERS)

2019  Suzanne Thornsberry (ERS)

2020  Catherine Feather (FPAC-BC)

2021  Elise Golan (OCE)

2022  Shawn Arita (OCE)

2023  Maros Ivanic (ERS)

Fred Woods Award

1999  Peter F. Smith (NRCS)

2000  Joseph W. Glauber (OCE)

2001  Ralph Heimlich (ERS)

2002  Randall E. Torgerson (ERS)

2003  Henry H. Bahm (CSREES)

2004  Ann H. Seitzinger (APHIS)

2005  Kitty Smith (ERS)

2006  Paul Westcott (ERS)

2007  Keith J. Collins (OCE)

2008  Alexander Barbarika (FSA)

2009  Jim Johnson (ERS)

2010  Jim MacDonald (ERS)

2011  Ron Lord (FAS)

2012  Mitch Morehart (ERS)

2014  Joy Harwood (FSA)

2015  Thomas Worth (RMA)

2016  Skip Hyberg (FSA)

2017  Keith Fuglie (ERS)

2018  Hal Gordon (NRCS)

2019  Anne Effland (OCE)

2020  Ralph Seeley (ERS)

2021  Fred Gale (ERS)

2022 Donald Hinman (AMS)

2023 Shayle Shagam (OCE)

Bruce Gardner Award

2008  Otto Doering (Purdue)

2009  Robert L. Thompson (Illinois)

2010  Vince Smith (Montana State)

2011  Keith Coble (Mississippi State)

2013  Ani Katchova (Kentucky)

2014  Andrew M. Novakovic (Cornell)

2015  Patrick Westhoff

2016  Wyatt Thompson (Missouri)

2017  No Award

2018  James W. Richardson (Texas A&M)

2019  Jason Grant (Virginia Tech)

2020  Andrew Muhammad
    (University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture)

2021  Dawn Thilmany McFadden
    (Colorado State University )

2022 Bruce Ahrendsen (University of Arkansas)

2023 Mary Muth, (RTI International)

John Lee Award

2008  Jerry Cessna (AMS) & Howard McDowell (AMS)

2009  Mike Price (ERS) & Larry Salathe (OCE)

2010  Tom Tice (FSA) & Phil Sronce (FSA)

2011  Terry Hickinbotham (FSA) & John Jinkins (FSA)

2012 Keith Fuglie, Paul Heisey, Sun Ling Wang, David Schimmelpfenning, John King, Andrew Toole & Nicholas Rada (ERS)

2013  Cathie Feather, Rich Iovanna, Alex Barbarika and Skip Hyberg (FSA)

2014  Fred Gale, James Hansen, Michael Jewison & Sun Ling Wang (ERS)

2015  Bill Hahn

2016  Dan Cook (FAS), Fred Gale & Sharon Sydow (OCE)

2017  Sharad Tandon, Maurice Landes, Cheryl Christensen, Steven LeGrand, Nzinga Broussard, Katie Farrin,  Karen Thome, Birgit Meade, Stacy Rosen (ERS)

2018  Michael Adjemian (ERS), Shawn Arita (OCE), and Vince Breneman (ERS)

2019  Parveen Setia (Lead), Flavius Badau, Blondel Brinkman, Paul Darby, Frank Fillo, Setsuko Hoffman, Eric Huszar, Chris Klocek, Satvik Mishra, Michael Olson, Monica Saavoss, Evan Shinbaum, Eleni Tsigas, Seth Wechsler, and Mustafa Zia (APHIS Policy and Analysis Development Team)

2020  Jayson Beckman, Maros Ivanic, Jeremy Jeliffe, Felix Baquedano, and Sara Scott (EU - Green Deal - Farm-to-Fork Strategies Analysis Team)

2021  Patrick McLaughlin (lead), Carolyn Chelius, Xiao Dong, Matthew MacLachlan, Keenan Marchesi, Wilson Sinclair, Alexander Stevens, and Eliana Zeballos  (ERS Food Prices and Spending Team)

2022  Carrie Litkowski, Tatiana Borisova, Jonathan Law, Dipak Subedi, Monika Ghimire, Christine Whitt, David Williams, and Kathy Kassel (ERS Farm Income Team)

2023 USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station Group



Section 1. Name. The name of this organization shall be the USDA Economists Group. 

Section 2. Mission Statement. The mission of the USDA Economists Group is to be a responsible, independent advocate for economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well as the Washington community, the agricultural economics profession, and society at large.

Section 3. Purposes.  The purposes of the USDA Economists Group are: 
To promote a common identity as economists interested in USDA programs and policies. 
To promote a sense of community among economists interested in USDA programs and policies. 
To foster greater understanding of--and appreciation for--the contributions of economists to USDA, to the agricultural economics profession, and to society at large. 
To help others understand the importance of economic analysis to fulfilling USDA's missions. 
To promote interaction and cooperation among economists within USDA and those interested in USDA programs and policies. 
To promote interaction and cooperation among USDA economists, economists in other government agencies, academia, and the private sector, and others with similar interests. 
To serve as a liaison between USDA economists and other professional organizations. 
To encourage other professional organizations to better address the needs of applied economists.


Section 1. Members.  To be a member of the USDA Economists Group, a person must be interested in the economics of USDA's missions and pay annual dues.

Section 2. Non-Discrimination. Beyond the guidelines of Section 1 above, membership in the USDA Economists Group shall be open without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or disability. 


Section 1. Executive Board. The responsibility and authority for managing the affairs of the USDA Economists Group is vested in an Executive Board. The Executive Board shall consist of the current officers, the immediate past president, and one director elected at large by the membership. During intervals between regular meetings of the full membership, the Executive Board is authorized to transact business on behalf of the organization. 

Section 2. Officers. The following officers will be elected by members of the USDA Economists Group.
(a) President. The President shall be the chief executive officer of the organization and shall preside at all meetings. The President shall appoint members of standing and ad hoc committees.
(b) Vice-President for Programs. The Vice-President for Programs shall head the Programs Committee. The Programs Committee is responsible for scheduling meetings and activities, developing programs and topics, and providing speakers for meetings. The committee is also responsible for exploring and developing other activities, as appropriate, such as in-service education needs. The Vice President for Programs shall act as President in the latter's absence.
(c) Vice-President for Membership. The Vice-President for Membership shall head the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee is responsible for promoting membership in the USDA Economists Group by developing lists of potential members and soliciting members. The committee is responsible for developing and maintaining a computerized list of members of the organization. The committee is responsible for handling communications between members and the organization. 
(d) Secretary. The Secretary shall be the secretary for all meetings of the organization and the Executive Board. The Secretary shall be responsible for the maintenance of the necessary records of the organization and for correspondence in connection with the activities of the organization. 
(e) Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of funds of the organization and shall act under the direction of the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall render such financial reports from time-to-time as may be needed.  
and ad hoc committees.

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