raineyPresident’s Corner
SAEA Annual Meeting
On behalf of the SAEA leadership team, I thank all who participated in the 2015 annual meeting in Atlanta. SAEA continues to build on its wonderful legacy of providing fantastic academic engagement, professional network opportunities and events that showcase and support agricultural economic students. The meeting was well attended with 164 faculty, 125 graduate students and 112 undergraduate students. These numbers show continued solid participation from our members and students compared to last year. Comparing 2015 annual meeting attendance to 2014 shows a slight dip from faculty (down 1.8%) and undergraduates (down 11%). However we experienced a record increase in graduate student attendance rising 31.5% from last year.

I express gratitude to all of the volunteers and committee chairs that made the annual meeting a success. As always, Jeff Jordan did a great job in coordinating all of the meeting logistics, including facilities, meals, and receptions. Thanks also to John VanSickle who assisted with the planning and coordination of the annual meeting program. I extend special thanks to Dan Petrolia for providing invaluable service in organizing the selected paper submission and review process and to Jody Campiche for coordinating the projectors, computers and other IT support. We switched to tracks for this year’s conference and hope that everyone found this organizing change beneficial. Lastly, special thanks to Michael Best who has provided fantastic leadership organizing the quiz bowl competition. Many thanks to Michael, the quiz bowl advisors for each of the participating schools, and all who volunteered to serve as moderators, judges, or computer operators for the quiz bowl competition.

SAEA continued with the transition from invited paper to invited symposia sessions. Many thanks to Marco Palma, Andrew Muhammad and Nathan Smith who graciously agreed to organize invited symposium sessions for the annual meeting. Each of these sessions focused on topics of interest to a broad segment of our members.

Business Meeting Update
Membership remains solid, with 623 total members as of January 2015. This figure does not include memberships joining through AAEA which should push our total to an estimated 700 members. Financially SAEA remains strong. The Association income statement for January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014 indicated income of $147,325.45 and expenses of $155,208.25. Expenses were up slightly as a result of our transition to a publishing house for our journal and our commitment to supporting students at the annual meeting. Our investment account, total assets, experienced a slight decline shrinking from $190,435.01 to $189,347.29 at the end of the 2014. The Association has no liabilities.

Special Recognitions
During the annual meeting, SAEA was pleased to offer both lifetime and early-career recognitions. Colleagues recognized for career achievements with the SAEA Lifetime Achievement Award were Curtis Jolly (Auburn University), Gene Nelson (Texas A&M University) and Mike Woods (Oklahoma State University). We appreciate their significant contribution, mentorship and leadership to further SAEA’s mission and our profession. SAEA also recognizes young faculty that have distinguished themselves with the Emerging Scholar award. These awards are designed to highlight the work of high-performing early-career professionals—within 7 years from having received a terminal degree. The 2015 honorees were Nathan Hendricks (Kansas State University), Gregory Colson (University of Georgia), and Richard Volpe (California Polytechnic State University). Please join me in congratulating these outstanding early career professionals. Also please nominate our colleagues for the 2016 annual meeting (see the call for nomination in this newsletter). All SAEA awards presented during the conference are listed at the end of this newsletter and on our association’s website.

Journal Update
At the meeting in Atlanta, Andrew McKenzie and Krishna Paudel, editors of the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics (JAAE), reported that the journal handled 123 manuscripts during 2014, 71 of which were new submissions. The average turnaround time for manuscripts was 68 days. The 2014 award for Outstanding JAAE Journal Article was presented to Henry W. Kinnucan and Li Gong for their article titled, “Goodwill and Export Promotion Dynamics.” Five members have rotated off the editorial council. These are Keith Coble, Keith Fuglie, Jayson Lusk, Sophie Thoyer, and Ted Schroeder. These individuals are being replaced by Michael Adjemian, Sandra Hoffman, Subal Kumbhakar, Fabien Prieur, and Glynn Tonsor. Henry Kinnucan continued to serve as Associate Editor. Please join me in thanking those who are rotating off the editorial council for their service to JAAE. Many thanks as well to the incoming members of the editorial council for their willingness to serve. The JAAE partnership with Cambridge University Press started in 2015 as SAEA seeks to move the Journal to a new level of recognition. The Executive Committee and JAAE Editors believe that working with a prestigious publishing company will facilitate our goal of eventually having the JAAE indexed in Thomson Reuters (formerly ISI) Web of Knowledge while also maintaining the financial viability of our journal. With the publication of our first issue in 2015, JAAE has moved to an open access format. We believe that this format will raise the profile of JAAE to a wider audience. We are the first major agricultural economics journal to move to this format and are excited about leading the way for our profession. SAEA and Cambridge University Press are in the process of launching an educational effort to inform members about the expanded benefits offered through this new partnership.

Leadership
Finally, I would like to thank Barry Barnett, Past-President, and Dan Petrolia, Director, who each completed their terms at the 2015 annual meeting. We appreciate your service to the Association. We are delighted to welcome Jeff Gillespie, Louisiana State University, as President-elect and Carlos Carpio, Texas Tech University, as a new Director. As officer elections approach this summer, please think about possible nominees. We will be electing a President-elect and one Director. Each will serve a three year term. If you have nominations, please send them to me or any other member of the Executive Committee. Also, if you are interested in serving on an SAEA committee (listed later in this newsletter), please contact me at rrainey@uaex.edu

Please mark your calendar now for next year’s annual meeting, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas February 6 – 9, 2016.

Ron Rainey SAEA President

Call for Emerging Scholars Awards
The Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA) is soliciting nominations for the 2016 “Emerging Scholar” awards. These awards are designed to highlight the work of high-performing early-career professionals in our profession. To be eligible, an applicant must, by May 8, 2015, be no more than 7 years from having received a terminal degree. For more information, see the March 2015 newsletter.

New Journal Distribution
The Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics is now published by Cambridge University Press as an open-access, on-line journal HERE.  Individual members of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association will continue to have access to past issues as part of their membership.

Position Announcements
Assistant Professor – Agribusiness, Texas Tech University

Address Changes/Email Signup
Please contact us HERE if your email or mailing addresses change. Also contact us, at the same address, if you are a member and are not receiving emails from SAEA and wish to do so. Email postings are infrequent and deal only with SAEA matters.