Suzanne Thornsbury

Senior Economist


Suzanne Thornsbury is on detail as Senior Advisor for Agricultural Economics and Rural Communities in USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist.


Suzanne joined ERS in 2011 as Senior Economist and Cross-Commodity Analyst for Specialty Crops in the Market and Trade Economics Division. In 2014 she served as the Senior Advisor for Agricultural Economics and Rural Communities in the USDA Office of the Chief Scientist. She became branch chief at ERS in June 2015. Prior to joining ERS, Suzanne was an Associate Professor in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University, where her focus was specialty crop markets and trade policy.


Suzanne received a Ph.D. and M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech and a B.S. in Animal Science from Virginia Tech with minors in Agricultural Economics and Political Science.

Professional Affiliations

Suzanne is a member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

Selected Publications

Astill, Gregory, Travis Minor, and Suzanne Thornsbury. 2019. “Changes in U.S. Produce Grower Food Safety Practices from 1999 to 2016” Food Control 104(October):326-332.

Astill, Gregory, Travis Minor, Suzanne Thornsbury, and Linda Calvin. 2019. U.S. Produce Growers' Decisionmaking Under Evolving Food Safety Standards, EIB-210, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, June.

Astill, Gregory, Travis Minor, Linda Calvin, and Suzanne Thornsbury. 2018. “New Survey Results Highlight Variation in Food Safety Practices Prior to the Produce Rule” Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, August.

Minor, Travis, Claudia Hitaj, Fred Kuchler, Sharon Raszap Skorbiansky, Brian Roe, and Suzanne Thornsbury. 2019. “Exploring Food Loss from Farm-to-retail in the Produce Industry,” Choices, Quarter 1.

Ragasa, C., S. Thornsbury, and S. Joshi. 2017. “Dynamics of EU Food Safety Certification: A Survival Analysis of Firm Decisions,” Agricultural and Food Economics 5:11.

Wei, X., S. Thornsbury, and D. Schweikhardt. 2017. “Hurdles to Exporting: A Decomposition of Fixed Export Costs,” Review of Economics and Finance 7(1):1-18.

Nizaov, D., S. Thornsbury, S. Loveridge, M. Woods, and O. Zadorozhna. 2015. “Security of Property Rights and Transition in Land Use,” Journal of Comparative Economics 44:76-91.

Hunt, F., and S. Thornsbury. 2014. “Facilitating Transdisciplinary Research in an Evolving Approach to Science,” Open Journal of Social Sciences 2(4):340-51.

Plattner, K., A. Perez, and S. Thornsbury. 2014. Evolving U.S. Fruit Markets and Seasonal Grower Price Patterns, FTS-357-01, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Calvin, L., and S. Thornsbury. 2013. “Protected-Culture Technology Transforms the Fresh-Tomato Market,” Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. February.

Woods, M., S. Thornsbury, and K. Curry Raper. 2012. “Beyond Market Access: Value from Food Safety Certification of Fresh Strawberries,” Agribusiness: An International Journal 28(4):469-82.

Wei, X., and S. Thornsbury. 2012. “Firm Level Export Decisions: The Role of Information Costs,” Economics Letters 116:487-90.

Thornsbury, S., and L. Martinez. 2012. “Capturing Demand for Functional Foods: A Case Study from the Tart Cherry Industry,” American Journal of Agricultural Economic. 94(2):583-90.

Thornsbury, S., D. Schweikhardt, and M. Woods. 2011. “Unexpected Issues for Produce Markets: WTO Decoupling and Domestic Farm Program Design,” Journal of Agribusiness 29(1):141-58.

Ragasa, C., S. Thornsbury, and R. Bernstein. 2011. “Delisting from EU HACCP Certification: Analysis of the Philippine Seafood Processing Industry,” Food Policy 36:694-704.

Ragasa, C., S. Thornsbury, and S. Joshi. 2011. “Are Food Safety System Costs Misestimated? Exporter-Perspective on the European Standard,” Journal of Agricultural Economics 62(3):669-89.