President’s Corner
A lot has happened since our SAEA meeting in Louisville this past February. How is that for an understatement! It’s safe to say that business as usual is in the rear-view mirror. I’m writing this letter from my home office following a parade of Zoom conference calls addressing various
responses to farms and communities impacted by the COVID-19 outbreaks. The news cycle is frenetic and we’re all focused on keeping safe and as out in front as possible. I’m sure all of us are impacted in various ways and degrees. I truly wish you all well – with your families and as you navigate your professional responsibilities.

Bear with me as I provide a short summary regarding the recent SAEA meetings – it seems a lifetime ago. I’m extremely proud to be a part of this association and am impressed with its growth and resilience over the years. SAEA provides excellent professional support
opportunities from our students to our early career professionals and on up. Out of 386 total
attendees 165 were faculty and career professionals, 116 were graduate students, and 105 were
undergraduate students.

A great cast contributes to the success of our program, including the Directors and other Board
members. I want to thank the committee chairs and committee members that helped to develop
aspects of the program and recognize outstanding achievements from across the association.
Jeff Jordan once again did an excellent job coordinating the meeting logistics, including
receptions, meals, facilities, and general planning. I especially enjoyed the reception at
Churchill Downs. Members rolling off SAEA committees this year include Luis Ribera, Bill
Herndon, Alan Hodges, Lanier Nalley, Michee Lachaud, Ryan Williams, and Daniel Solis, each
of whom played an important role in the success of the meeting.

The Quiz Bowl competition was a tremendous success under the leadership of Co-Chairs Dusty
Menzies and Jerrod Penn, as well as the Quiz Bowl advisors for each of the participating
schools and the many volunteers who moderated, judged and/or helped with IT support for the
Quiz Bowl. I’m also aware that Leigh Maynard was substantially involved in making the
competition logistics run smoothly. Thanks to all of you for your service to the SAEA!

Membership in SAEA remains high at 600 members total. I have found myself in the current of
this social health disruption to be leaning more than ever before on my network of colleagues –
leaders in research, extension, and teaching – as we have had to scramble as a profession to
respond as never before. The strength of our professional networks really shows its value.
Financially as an association, we had reported our SAEA total assets at a healthy balance of
$321,990, but brace for a substantial adjustment for the next report.

Lifetime and early career achievements are one of the great things we celebrate in our
association. I’m sure most of you were able to enjoy the comments of Keith Coble, our most
recent SAEA Lifetime Achievement inductee. He joins a great cast of economists that have
compiled numerous achievements across a great career, many of whom continue as active
leaders in our profession. Clinton Neill, Virginia Tech University, Jarrod Penn, Louisiana State
University, and Nathanael Thompson, Purdue University were recognized as SAEA Emerging Scholars out of highly competitive pool. I personally enjoyed each of their presentations at the
meeting and remain greatly encouraged to see these rising talents.

The Journal of Ag and Applied Economics is transitioning to a team of new editors. Mike Reed
and Mehdi Saghaian (University of Kentucky) are passing the reins to the next team led by
Carlos Carpio (Texas Tech University) and Olga Isengildina-Massa (Virginia Tech) and David
Willis (Clemson University). Our great appreciation goes out to Mike and Mehdi for
outstanding service with the JAAE. They are passing it over in great shape. The editors
handled 93 new and 117 resubmitted manuscripts in 2019. The average turnaround time from
submission to decision was 51 days and the acceptance rate was 38%. Articles downloaded
from the JAAE totaled 52,709 last year. I would also like to express a special thanks to Jabir
Ali, National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (India), Rebekka Dudensing,
Texas A&M University, Zhifeng Gao, University of Florida, Kim Jenson, University of
Tennessee, Ani Katchova, Ohio State University, Nicole Mason, Michigan State University,
David Orden, Virginia Tech, Michael Popp, University of Arkansas, Renato Villano, University
of New England (Australia), and Nick Vink, Stellenbosch University (South Africa) as they roll
off their service on the JAAE editorial board. The new editorial council members include
Sheldon Du, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Xiaoli Etienne, West Virginia University, Pan
Fanghui, Northeast Agricultural University (China), Matthew Fannin, Louisiana State
University, Thomas Glauben, University of Halle (Germany), Valentina Hartarska, Auburn
University, Vardges Hovhannisyan, University of Wyoming, George Norton, Virginia Tech,
and Dustin Pendell, Kansas State University.

Finally, I want to provide special thanks to several people who have served our association.
Deacue Fields completed his term as Past President at the February meetings. During his year as
Past President, he provided leadership in the selection of the professional awards. Thank you,
Deacue, for all you have done for the SAEA over the past several years. Krishna Paudel
completed his term as President at the February meetings. During his year as President, he
provided excellent leadership in coordinating the many activities of the SAEA, too many to list
here. Thank you, Krishna, and I look forward to continuing to work with you this year in your
position as Past President. Luis Ribera completed his term as Director at the February meeting.
We appreciate his strong leadership in this very important role over the past three years. I am
pleased to welcome David Anderson, Texas A&M, as our President-Elect, and Rebekka
Dudensing, also of Texas A&M, as Director, to the SAEA leadership team. Each will serve
three-year terms.

We are always looking for new ideas to raise the value for SAEA members. Social media, idea
sharing, professional development, emerging topics. Let us hear from you! Contact me any
time with your ideas for SAEA at tim.woods@uky.edu. Please mark your calendars now for
next year’s annual meeting, to be held February 6-9, 2021 in Irving, Texas. Let us make 2020-
21 another successful year to remember! Thanks for your support to the SAEA and all its
activities.

Tim Woods, SAEA President

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.

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