On September 21, 2012 the Applied Economics program at the University of Minnesota celebrated its 100th year anniversary. The program originated as the agricultural economics department, but the name gradually evolved to reflect the many different types of research the faculty and centers were engaged in. The Centennial event focused on the idea of bringing economics to life and the role the department has, both historically and now, on things such as the establishment of cooperatives, SNAP participation, farm financial management, and more.
Dr. Brian Buhr, chair of the applied economics department spoke passionately about department's commitment to promote through education and engagement. He talked about the role of education in a democracy and how the department fits into the Land Grant Institution. Additionally, he spoke of the desire [of the department] to be practical and relevant by using economics to improve decisions and policy. Dr. F Abel Ponce de Leon, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs in CFANS, spoke of the role applied economics will play in the next 100 years as the world meets the demands of a growing planet. The centennial event had 16 different breakout sessions, focusing on the 4 different areas of focus in the department, including environmental and resource economics, food systems, growth development and trade, as well as public sector economics.
Four alumni presented on their work including Kent Horsager's work in the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Vic Adamowicz's work at the University of Alberta on valuing the environment, and Mike Martin, Chancellor at Colorado State University, spoke about Minnesota's Land Grant Mission and Vision. Additionally Fahima Aziz, the 2012 outstanding alumni award winner talked about her work as a professor since graduating with a Ph.D. in Applied Economics. Dr. Aziz focused her presentation on the vision and goals of the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, where she is currently Vice Chancellor.
Additionally, faculty presented on topics ranging from improving quality of education in developing country, to demographics in the new economy to trade agriculture and the environment. These presentations talked about the opportunity and need for interdisciplinary research in the economics field. Each of the centers within the department presented on their history as well as the variety of research being done by students and faculty associated with the Center. These centers include The Food Industry Center, The Center for Farm Financial Management, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy, International Science and Technology Practice and Policy Center, as well as the Minnesota Council on Economic Education.
Congratulations on 100 years of successful and meaningful research Applied Economics, and good luck on the next 100!