While he now calls the state of Texas home, Madan Dey has roots in rural Bangladesh, where he grew up on the family farm. It was a small-scale operation that mainly produced rice, along with some fish and dairy. As a young boy, he witnessed firsthand his father, uncle and other relatives navigate the many challenges of running an agricultural business.
Today, as an agricultural economist, he performs experiments and analyses to better understand consumer behavior, which at first glance seems far removed from farming life. Yet, the heart of Dey’s work — to improve the livelihood of farmers around the world — can be traced back to his upbringing.
“I don’t like to do research for the sake of research. I like to do research that will help the stakeholder,” says Dey, professor of agricultural business and economics and chair of the Department of Agricultural Sciences at Texas State University. “I know the real pain of farming, so I try to help farmers.”