Recent Meetings

Rural Sociological Society Annual Meeting

In August 2004, ERS researchers presented a wide variety of findings at the Rural Sociological Society (RSS) annual meeting in Sacramento, CA. RSS was founded in 1937 to promote the development of rural sociology through teaching, research, and extension. Its original members were active as early as 1920 as a section of the American Sociological Society. At the August conference, ERS researchers presented papers on rural population dynamics, the public policy impacts of rapid inmigration of Hispanics to nonmetro counties, the positive relationship between attractive natural amenities and access to services and inmigration of people to rural areas, food costs in nonmetro households compared with those of metro households, and the new ERS county typology codes and their potential usefulness in rural development policy analyses.

Annual Meeting of Agricultural Economists

In August 2004, ERS researchers discussed and debated a wide range of issues with their colleagues at the annual meeting of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) in Denver, CO. A highlight of the meetings was the annual Frederick V. Waugh Memorial Lecture, which featured, for the first time, a USDA economist. Joseph Glauber, Deputy Chief Economist of USDA since 1992, delivered a presentation titled, “Crop Insurance Reconsidered,” in which he assessed the efficacy of crop insurance program changes over the last 15 years. Established in 1991, this lecture series is cosponsored by the AAEA and ERS in honor of an intellectual giant in the agricultural economics profession who stressed the idea that economists should do relevant and useful work.

How Can Time-Use Data Be Used?

In July 2004, ERS and the Farm Foundation cosponsored a 1-day conference on policy-relevant uses of data from the new American Time Use Survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This important new dataset will allow researchers to analyze the choices people make in how they spend their time, the time and income constraints they face, and the consequences of their decisions. This conference provided researchers, policymakers, and program administrators an opportunity to discuss and identify policy issues that time-use data can illuminate, such as obesity, grocery store access of low-income households, and working time versus household responsibilities.  Karen Hamrick

Conservation Reserve Program: Planting for the Future

In June 2004, Marc Ribaudo, Patrick Sullivan, and Daniel Hellerstein of ERS participated in the conference “CRP: Planting for the Future,” sponsored by USDA’s Farm Service Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey, held in Fort Collins, CO. Attended by over 200 people, the conference featured presentations by academic researchers, government scientists, program administrators, industry representatives, and Capitol Hill staffers on the theme of how USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program might be best implemented, given social and environmental goals. Marc Ribaudo

Integration of the Food Supply Chain

In June 2004, at the 1st Global Agri-Food Forum in Mexico City, Mexico, ERS researcher Phil Kaufman participated in a panel session titled, “Strengthening the Integration of the Food Supply Chain.” His presentation on “Changing Competition, New Technology, and Consolidation in the U.S. Retail Food Industry: Implications for Agricultural and Food Suppliers,” provided insights on issues similar to those of the Latin American countries represented at the conference. Other session topics were “Controversy Over Water,” “The Impact of China on Global Agriculture,” “Global Trends in Agro-Food Commerce,” and “What is the New Producer Model?” An overriding theme was the need for producers and processors to compete in global markets and to become more consumer-driven through better integration within the food supply chain.