2023-05 PAER: Graduate Student Research Issue

May 10, 2023

Welcome to the Spring 2023 Purdue Agricultural Economics Report (PAER). For the third year in a row, this issue highlights the interesting, relevant, and practical research findings from undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University.

In the first article of this issue, Nicole Widmar, agricultural economics professor and graduate program coordinator, chronicles the state of the Agricultural Economics Graduate Program. Most notably, the department’s graduate program continues to uphold the tradition of innovation, welcoming the inaugural cohort of online Professional M.S. in International Agribusiness students in Fall 2023. The cohort is in addition to the incoming M.S., Ph.D., M.S.-M.J., and M.S.-M.B.A. students. It is exciting that our department offers such comprehensive graduate degree options.

The remainder of this issue highlights student research focused on two groups important to agricultural economists: food consumers and farmers. The first section of articles is related to the economic challenges faced by food consumers. First, Ph.D. students, Laxmi Adhikari, Yizhou Hua, and Yifei Wang, along with Holly Wang, professor of agricultural economics, use a consumer survey to uncover the degree to which consumers would value a new healthy snacking option, tofu chips. Next, an article by Ph.D. student Zach Neuhofer finds that milk consumers do not respond as expected to labels providing scientific information on the sustainability of milk production systems. In the last article pertaining to consumers, undergraduate students, Ethan Buck, Morgan Hinz, Yuxi “Jimmy” Jiang, and Xiuyun “Lisa” Wen, along with Todd Kuethe, professor and Schrader Endowed Chair in Farmland Economics, examine the accuracy and optimality of food price inflation forecasts. Food price inflation has been a key topic of economic interest since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The final three articles focus on farmers’ economic issues. Like the work in food price inflation, the first two articles by Ph.D. student Hari Regmi are motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic. First, Regmi uses various data to identify the sources and quantities of the record high total governmental assistance to Indiana farmers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his second article, Regmi compares the financial health of Indiana farms to the larger groups of U.S. and Midwestern farms from 2012 – 2021. In the last article of this issue, M.S. student Margaret Lippsmeyer and Michael Langemeier, professor of agricultural economics, discuss how effective farm managers engage in acquiring knowledge and experience, while seeking opportunities to collaborate. Additionally, Lippsmeyer and Langemeier provide practical suggestions on how farm managers can pursue further knowledge, experience, and collaboration.

Our hope is that this issue will provide you with some insight into the community of young scholars in our graduate program. Additionally, we hope that you will share our view that our current students are working on important and relevant issues. On behalf of the Agricultural Economics graduate student community, we thank you for engaging in our work, as we seek to advance Purdue University’s Land Grant Mission.

Chad Fiechter

Ph.D. Student

2023 Graduate Editor for PAER

Articles in this Publication:

State of the Agricultural Economics Graduate Program, Update April 2023

Consumer Demand for Innovative Healthy Snack in the US

Can a sustainability facts label reduce the halo surrounding organic labels (Neuhofer et al., 2023)?

The Accuracy of USDA’s Retail Food Price Forecast

COVID-19 Assistance to Indiana Producers in 2020 and 2021

Indiana Farm’s Financial Health in Light of Economic Uncertainties

Experience, Knowledge, & Collaboration: Why Good Managers Make an Effort to Improve

Latest Articles:

The Rise of Meat Substitute Consumption and its Impact on the U.S. Soybean Industry

May 15, 2023

This report compares the soybean demand in the production of traditional meat, plant-based meat and cell-cultured meat. Soybean farmers are expected to benefit from the meat demand growth and the new meat substitute production.


State of the Agricultural Economics Graduate Program, Update April 2023

May 10, 2023

An update on the State of the Agricultural Economics Graduate Program at Purdue University


Consumer Demand for Innovative Healthy Snack in the US

May 10, 2023

According to consumer preferences, healthier snack options with favorable sensory attributes are increasingly sought after, with physically active individuals placing greater emphasis on product quality, while those leading sedentary lifestyles prioritize calorie content and taste.


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