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Steve Crutchfield

Steve Crutchfield

Assistant Administrator


Steve Crutchfield is the Assistant Administrator at USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). Steve manages the Agency’s Staff Analysis program, which provides fast turn-around responses to requests for data, research, or analysis from external customers.


From 2001 to 2008, Steve was the Deputy Director for Policy and Communications in the Food Economics Division (FED), where he managed the division’s staff analysis activities. From 1994 to 2001, Steve was Chief of the Diet, Safety and Health Economics Branch at ERS, where he directed and conducted research on the costs and benefits of private and public policies relating to nutrition, food consumption, food demand, and food safety in the United States. Steve was head of the Environmental Valuation Section in the Resources and Technology Division of ERS from 1986 to 1994. There, his research estimated the costs and benefits of policies to protect and improve environmental quality. Prior to working at ERS, he was an Assistant Professor of Resource Economics at the University of Rhode Island from 1980 to 1986.


Steve holds a Ph.D., a Master of Philosophy, and a Master of Arts in Economics from Yale University. He obtained his B.A. in Economics and History from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Professional Affiliations:

Steve is a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA), and from 2000 to 2002 was Secretary/Treasurer of the AAEA's Food Safety and Nutrition Section.

Selected Publications:

Golan, Elise, Jean Buzby, Stephen R. Crutchfield, Paul D. Frenzen, Fred Kuchler, Katherine Ralston, and Tanya Roberts. “The Value to Consumers of Reducing Foodborne Risks,” in Toward Safer Food: Perspectives on Risk and Priority Setting, Sandra R. Hoffman and Michael Taylor, Eds. Washington: Resources for the Future, pp. 129-160. 2005.

Kuchler, Fred, Elise Golan, Jayachandran N. Variyam, and Stephen R. Crutchfield. Obesity Policy and the Law of Unintended Consequences, Amber Waves, June 2005.

Crutchfield, Stephen R, Fred Kuchler, and Jayachandran N. Variyam. 2001. “The Economic Benefits of Nutrition Labeling: A Case Study for Fresh Meat and Poultry Products." Journal of Consumer Policy, 24:185-207.

Crutchfield, Stephen R., and Tanya Roberts. 2000. "Food Safety Efforts Accelerate in the 1990’s." Food Review, Vol. 23, No. 3:44-49, assisted by P. Frenzen and J. Buzby.

Crutchfield, Stephen R., and Jon Weimer. 2000. "Nutrition Policy in the 1990’s." Food Review, Vol. 23, No. 3:38-43.

Crutchfield, Stephen, Jean Buzby, Tanya Roberts, and Michael Ollinger. 1999. "Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Pathogen Reduction." Food Review, Vol. 22, No. 2:6-9.

Crutchfield, Stephen R. 1999. "New Federal Policies and Programs for Food Safety." Food Review, Vol. 22, Issue 2:2-5.

Buzby, Jean C., and Stephen R. Crutchfield. 1999. "New Juice Regulations Underway." Food Review, Vol. 22, No. 2: 21-22.

Buzby, Jean C., Richard Ready, John A. Fox, and Stephen R. Crutchfield. 1998. "Measuring Consumer Benefits of Food Safety Risk Reduction." Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 30 (July):69-82.

Crutchfield, Stephen R, et al. 1997. An Economic Assessment of Food Safety Regulations. Agricultural Economic Report No. 755. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Crutchfield, Stephen R. 1997. "Perspectives: Economic Issues Related to New Food Safety Initiatives." Food Review, 20:13.

Crutchfield, Stephen R., and Joseph Cooper. 1997. "Valuing Risk Reduction: The Example of Nitrates in Drinking Water." Food Review, 27:38-41.

MacDonald, James, and Stephen R. Crutchfield. 1996. "Modeling the Costs of Food Safety Regulations." American Journal of Agricultural Economics, December.

Crutchfield, Stephen R., Feather. 1995. The Benefits of Protecting Rural Water Quality: An Empirical Analysis. Agricultural Economic Report No. 701. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Crutchfield, Stephen. R., David Letson, and Arun Malik. 1994. "Feasibility of Point-Nonpoint Source Trading for Managing Coastal Water Quality." Water Resources Research 30:2825-36.

Crutchfield, Stephen R., Hansen, and Marc Ribaudo. 1993. Agricultural and Water-Quality Conflicts: Economic Dimensions of the Problem. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 676. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Malik, Arun, David Letson, and Stephen R. Crutchfield. 1993. "Point/Nonpoint Source Trading of Pollution Abatement: Choosing the Right Trading Ratio." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 75:959-67.

Crutchfield, Stephen R., Marc O. Ribaudo, LeRoy Hansen, and Ricardo Quiroga. 1992. Cotton Production and Water Quality: Economic and Environmental Effects of Pollution Prevention. AER-664. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Crutchfield, Stephen R., et al. 1991. Cotton Production and Water Quality: An Initial Assessment. Staff Report AGES-9105. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Crutchfield, Stephen, and C. Edwin Young. 1988. "Policies and Legislation Affecting Agriculture and Water Quality." Agricultural Resources: Cropland, Water And Conservation Situation and Outlook Report AR-12. USDA, Sept. 1988. 

Last updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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