The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics and the National Association of Agricultural Economics Administrators on Sept. 28 recognized U.S. Sen.  Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, by presenting him the 2015 Friend of Agricultural Economics Award for his employment of economics to policy issues involving agriculture, natural resources, food and nutrition topics.

The Friend of Agricultural Economics Award is presented biennially to members of Congress for their support of economics research, extension, education and reasoning. Award recipients are nominated by university departments of agricultural economics from across the country and voted on by leaders of the profession.

C-FARE chair Roger Coupal of the University of Wyoming noted “his appreciation of the application of economics to policy issues.”

Roberts is the first member of Congress in history to have chaired the House Agriculture Committee and now the Senate Committee of Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. He has also served as the ranking member of each committee.

Allen Featherstone, agricultural economics department head and professor at Kansas State University nominated Roberts, stating, “The chairman’s work on revenue-based crop insurance has been instrumental in facilitating greater efficiency and delivery in disaster programming. Additionally, this insurance vehicle not only utilized key economic research, but also has enabled the agricultural economics profession to better serve the agricultural sector.”

In his nomination, Featherstone cited Roberts’ work on the revenue based crop insurance contract, noting that in the past, disaster programs often delayed payment until at least a year after harvest. Revenue based crop insurance resulted in a major shift in economic research, teaching and outreach which has helped better serve the agriculture sector.

Featherstone also cited Roberts’ support of the Ogallala Aquifer Program, a consortium of researchers from several universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is searching for solutions to the depletion of groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer..

“I am honored to receive this award. I work hard to promote Kansas’ agriculture as well as the national agricultural enterprise. Agricultural and applied economics analyses support this approach, offering valuable information to assist in developing the best policies for Kansas and our nation,” Roberts said.

Previous award winners include: Rep. Greg Walden (2013), Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Sen. Roy Blunt (2011), Rep. Chet Edwards (2009), Rep. Frank Lucas (2007), Rep. Adam Putnam and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (2005), and Sen. Thad Cochran (2003).

Agricultural economics is the study of the economic forces that affect the food, fiber and fuel industry from the producer and rural communities to the agribusiness and consumer.

C-FARE is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the national presence of the agricultural economics profession. Its governing board includes prominent agricultural economists representing a wide range of public and private sector interests.  For more information or to view the press releases on-line please visit our website.

NAAEA is a section of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association. Its mission is to improve the leadership and management of agricultural economics programs; to support the acquisition of resources to carry out agricultural economics research, teaching, and extension programs; and to address common needs and concerns of agricultural economics administrators. Members include individuals who administer departments or units in academia, public agencies and foundations offering and supporting agricultural economics, resource economics, agribusiness management and similar research, teaching, and/or extension programs.