Tracey Farrigan

Tracey Farrigan



Tracey Farrigan is a geographer with the Rural Economy Branch in the Resource and Rural Economics Division of USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS). She conducts research related to rural household well-being with a primary focus on economically distressed communities and vulnerable populations. Tracey’s current work includes research on resiliency to the intergenerational transmission of poverty, military veteran migration and the impact on the agricultural landscape, and the intersection of persistent poverty with natural disaster vulnerability and recovery. The latter two projects are informed by Tracey's ongoing service to the USDA veterans in agriculture task force and FEMA’s national disaster recovery interagency support team. Tracey is also leading an historical spatial analysis of rural poverty in conjunction with the 50-year anniversary of the National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty’s seminal report the People Left Behind. That project includes a critical evaluation of the current methodology used by Federal agencies for poverty-area designation, which is rooted in research conducted during the 1960s War on Poverty and has not since been updated.


Tracey has been with ERS since 2007. Previously, she was an independent research consultant working with communities, organizations, and governments committed to alleviating poverty and supporting sustainable economic growth through capacity building and infrastructure development. Tracey is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with occupational training at the (former) Defense Mapping School at Fort Belvoir VA.


Tracey has a PhD in economic geography from the Pennsylvania State University, with concentrations in rural and regional analysis as well as poverty and related policy. She has an MS in resource economics from the University of New Hampshire with a specialization in community economic development. She has a dual BA in business economics and geography from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh with a minor in urban planning. She also has an AS in international business from Hudson Valley Community College with partial study at the London School of Economics.

Selected Publications

Farrigan, T. 2009. "Children's Health Insurance and National Health Policy," Choices 24(4), 4th Quarter.

Ver Ploeg, M., V. Breneman, T. Farrigan, K. Hamrick, D. Hopkins, P. Kaufman, B. Lin, M. Nord, T. Smith, R. Williams, K. Kinnison, C. Olander, A. Singh, and E. Tuckermanty. 2009. Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food—Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress, AP-036, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Farrigan, T. November 2008. "Child Health and Well-Being Differ for Metro and Nonmetro Low-Income Households," Amber Waves 6(5):9, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Cosby, A., T. Neaves, R. Cossman, J. Cossman, W. James, N. Feierabend, D. Mirvis, C. Jones, and T. Farrigan. 2008. "Preliminary Evidence for an Emerging Nonmetropolitan Mortality Penalty in the United States," American Journal of Public Health 98(8):1470-1472.

Farrigan, T. 2008. "Poverty Amidst Plenty; Some Recent Reflections," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society 1(1):157-161.

Glasmeier, A., and T. Farrigan. 2007. "Landscapes of Inequality: Spatial Segregation, Economic Isolation, and Contingent Residential Locations," Economic Geography 83(3):221-229.