Meet the Fellows

Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Economics Trade Fellows

These outstanding early-career agricultural economists joined our team for one year as our Agricultural Economics Fellow or Agricultural Economics Trade Fellow. These programs provide post-Ph.D. agricultural economists with a unique yearlong opportunity to be mentored and mentor, provide thought leadership through publications and speaking appearances, expand their network, manage high-visibility projects, and elevate their stature and reputation in the food and agricultural sectors.

Agricultural Economics Fellows

Trey Malone

Dr. Trey Malone
2023 Agricultural Economics Fellow

Dr. Trey Malone, a food and agricultural economist whose primary research interests are agribusiness entrepreneurship and resiliency in agri-food supply chains, has been named as Farm Foundation’s 2023 Agricultural Economics Fellow.

Dr. Malone currently serves as co-editor of the Agricultural & Resource Economics Review and managing editor of the International Food & Agribusiness Review.  He is also an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas. Prior to this, he was an assistant professor and extension economist in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University.

He holds master’s and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University and a bachelor’s degree from Rockhurst University.  His insights have been featured in popular press outlets, including the New York Times, CNBC, USA Today, Fast Company, and Popular Science.

Presentation with Farm Foundation Agricultural Scholars at the August 2023 European Association of Agricultural Economists Congress: Environmental Impacts and Policy for Smallholder Farmers in the U.S.

Global Forum on Farm Policy & Innovation January 2024 Report: Advancing the Role of Trade and Agricultural Sustainability

Farm Foundation February 2024 Issue Report: Limited Understanding and Differing Perceptions of Agricultural Sustainability Point to the Need for More Consumer Education 

December 2023: Defining Sustainability: Industry Leaders on Actionable Goals

Leveraging Shared Passion for Sustainability to Nurture Collaboration in International Trade


Dr. Amanda Countryman
2022 Agricultural Economics Trade Fellow

Dr. Amanda Countryman, Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University and a Teaching and Research Associate in the Center for Global Trade Analysis at Purdue University, has been named Farm Foundation’s first Agricultural Economics Trade Fellow. Her research examines the economic implications of international trade, focusing specifically on the impact of trade reform on agriculture. She investigates issues related to trade policy, bilateral and multilateral trade partnerships, nontariff barriers to trade, trade issues related to livestock and meat sectors, as well as trade and the environment. She also teaches undergraduate, graduate and professional courses in international trade, agribusiness and agricultural economics.

Dr. Countryman completed her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Resource Economics and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at the University of Arizona, Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University and doctorate in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. Prior to joining the faculty at CSU, she was an Agricultural Economist at the USDA Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C.  She grew up on a cotton, cattle and alfalfa farm in Buckeye, Arizona where her family continues in production agriculture.


2022 Global Agricultural Productivity Report, published by Virginia Tech (page 28): Ukraine Conflict Disrupts Agricultural Production and International Trade 

Farm Foundation August 2022 Issue Report: The Future of Food and Agricultural Trade with China


November 2022:     Ag Trade and Commodity Outlook for 2023
March 2022:           Geopolitical Disruptions: Implications for U.S. Agriculture and Trade
December 2022:     Economic Outlook for Agriculture


Plastina, Alejandro_square

Dr. Alejandro Plastina
2021 Agricultural Economics Fellow

Dr. Alejandro Plastina, Associate Professor/Extension Economist in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University, was Farm Foundation’s first Agricultural Economics Fellow. Dr. Plastina’s area of specialization is agricultural production and technology, with an emphasis on farm business and financial management. At the time, his recent publications addressed the economics of conservation practices such as cover crops and subfield land-use change from corn-soybean rotations into switchgrass, as well as agricultural productivity analyses.

Plastina also received the ISU Office of the President Excellence in Remote Instruction Award in 2021; the ISU Extension and Outreach Creativity in Service to All Iowans Award in 2020; the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Distinguished Extension Program Award in 2019; the ISU ANR Programming Innovation Award in 2018; and the ISU Extension and Outreach Impacting Iowa Award in 2014. He holds a Master of Science in Statistics and a doctorate in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Farm Foundation May 2022 Issue Report: The U.S. Voluntary Agricultural Carbon Market: Where to From Here?

Blogs :

April 2022:    Overcoming Barriers to the Development of an Agricultural Carbon Market
Nov 2021:      Non-Permanence of Conservation Practices and Carbon Markets
July 2021:      Strong increases in cash rental rates in Iowa