President’s Corner
Greetings on behalf of the SAEA Board and myself. I suppose by now we are all getting pretty tired of the statements of ‘uncertain times’ and ‘let’s set up another Zoom meeting’. I wish I could say I had the magic wand in hand to change all this, but it surely feels like we’re going to be looking at a longer distance run rather than a sprint. All of our missions are being deeply affected – research, teaching, extension … and yes, administration. Difficult economic circumstances create further challenges for universities, government agencies, agribusinesses, and farms. Students are in an especially difficult position right now both for learning, internships and other experiential learning, and job placement.

The good news is that disruption creates demand for economists. Issues of risk, business strategy, food access and security, economic development, consumer choice, farm management, policy, and the organization of industries all have exploded with new opportunities for analysis. Economists have important perspectives and unique tools to offer and the call to rise to the emerging need is one we can’t ignore. Further, there is a unique opportunity for learning as behaviors of consumers and organizations are being played out in a context few of us have before observed. I personally have been involved in listening sessions in a national local food systems adjustment project and have been inspired to hear about the creative adaptation across these short supply chains as sectors pivot to survive.

My final point is to emphasize the importance of professional engagement during this season. Many of our in-person meetings have gone virtual, making them actually easier to attend. They are also easier for our graduate students to attend. I know the WERA-72 Agribusiness group made the creative adjustment to meet virtually and then offer a series of seminars weekly. Attendance has been way up from previous years due to the ease of access and has certainly strengthened this network. I can see some of the advantages to flexibility around time and travel. Professional engagement in person obviously has its benefits, but it seems to be the season for silk purses from sow’s ears – so to speak.

There remains at this moment considerable uncertainty with regard to our in-person SAEA meetings scheduled for Irving, TX. Indeed, the SAEA Board has been looking hard at the best options available to us as in-person options continue to be highly uncertain into early 2021. We will certainly make every effort for timely communication regarding our annual meeting. We are committed to continuing the central mission of professional development and networking at SAEA and welcome ideas for best ways to adapt in our current situation and to bring innovative opportunities to our members.

Membership and Finances
SAEA membership remains strong. At our annual executive meeting held June 10, 2020, Jeff Jordan reported that our current active membership is 585. This membership number is a slight decrease from the 647 last year. Our financial positions remain strong, with total assets of $266,178 as of May 31, 2020 – in spite of the turbulent markets. SAEA remains highly solvent given our historic expenditure levels.

Journal of Ag and Applied Economics
The JAAE has been successfully transitioned from co-editors Mike Reed and Sayed Saghaian (University of Kentucky) over to Carlos Carpio (Texas Tech), Olga Isengildina-Massa (Virginia Tech), and Dave Willis (Clemson). We are continuing to negotiate with Cambridge University Press toward continuance of our relationship with them and are mutually committed to strengthening our communication and promotion platform to better share out the publications and research resources provided through the journal. We will be looking for your engagement continuing to submit quality manuscripts and to share out those articles you feel are making an impact. Impacts for JAAE are trending strongly higher based on the tireless efforts of our past and current editors and we’re excited to see the journal becoming an even more important platform for research in the future.

What’s Next
The SAEA Board will be finalizing candidates for President-elect and Director for the upcoming term. We will be providing a slate of candidates in the upcoming September newsletter for your consideration. I’m extremely appreciative to our Directors, Board Officers, and Administrative support. It’s a highly talented and deeply engaged group that works a great length behind the scenes to bring us the best quality of experience for the Association possible.

The August newsletter provides our annual call for award nominations and professional contributions for participation in our annual meeting scheduled for Irving, TX in February 2021. While some uncertainty still remains regarding the format of this meeting, we highly encourage your nominations and contributions as we seek to recognize and share the excellent work being accomplished by our members. This is central to the mission of our Association. We will keep everyone up to date through the SAEA website and future newsletters.

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.

To ensure you do not miss any new content from Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, activate free content alerts at:  journals.cambridge.org/JAAE-alerts

Follow SAEA on Social Media
SAEA Executive Council is excited to launch social media sites promoting the association.  We are thankful for the dedicated service and creativity of the Outreach and Engagement Committee for creating additional outlets for SAEA members and supporters to network and engage.

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News
University of Arkansas to create new center for price risk management

Energies, journal call for papers: “Bioenergy Supply and Demand, Logistics, and New Feedstock Crop Assessment” special issue

With the increasing issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and need for social distancing, Applied Economic Teaching Resources is publishing a special issue on innovations, teaching strategies and issue related and involving online and remote learning and teaching. Submit by Sept 1, 2020.
Details, Inquiries: aetr.editor@gmail.com

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.