Economic systems determine what goods and services will be provided, how they are produced and the allocation of those goods and services within society. These aspects of economics are fundamental determinants of human welfare, quality of life, viability of agriculture, food security, environmental sustainability and social equity. The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics focuses on these important issues, examining individual and household behaviors, firms’ strategic decisions, how social and economic institutions affect decision-making and the role of government actors in influencing these decisions.
The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics is home to 30 core faculty members and other adjunct faculty and staff members across three campuses – Athens, Griffin and Tifton – who conduct research in agricultural, food, environmental, natural resource and development economics. In collaboration with other researchers at UGA, our faculty and graduate students:
- Help farmers and others in the agricultural and environmental sectors – in Georgia, the rest of the U.S. and abroad – manage and improve their operations, with an eye toward gaining a competitive edge in production, processing and marketing of farm, ranch, aquaculture, forestry, greenhouse and orchard commodities
- Analyze the knowledge, perceptions and behavior of consumers to better understand how choices are made and how those choices affect the demand for food, fiber and natural resources; influence human health and welfare; and reveal preferences for the provision of public goods and ecological services
- Explore issues relevant to the economic development of developing countries through an improved understanding of technology adoption, learning and innovation and how these factors are affected by institutions, market constraints, risk and culture
- Help to manage risk to achieve resilience with regard to market conditions, weather, drought, disasters and sea level rise
- Apply econometric and experimental approaches to enhance economic performance and inform policy in current issues confronting agriculture, natural resources and the environment
- Examine the interaction of social, economic and institutional factors on the production and distribution of goods and services and the conservation and management of natural resources
Our undergraduate and graduate students undertake a rigorous program of study that prepares them to understand, work on and help to resolve such issues, serve as capable assistants in our faculty’s research endeavors, develop analytical and critical thinking skills, and train for exciting and rewarding careers in agribusiness management, marketing/sales and finance; natural resource and environmental management; and international agricultural development. They are employed in private, nonprofit and public sector/government venues as well as academia.
In addition, the department and the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development work closely with the agribusiness industry of Georgia to identify market opportunities, promote international trade, address market barriers and add value to the state’s commodities.