Next Generation

Agricultural Economics Fellow

New for 2021, Farm Foundation is pleased to offer the opportunity for an outstanding early-career agricultural economist to join our team for one year as our first Agricultural Economics Fellow.

Meet Dr. Alejandro Plastina

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Dr. Alejandro Plastina, Associate Professor/Extension Economist in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University, has been named 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. His recent publications have 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.

The Agricultural Economics Fellowship is the latest recognition for Plastina, who 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.

About the Fellowship

The Agricultural Economics Fellowship is a new program designed to nurture a promising leader in the field, and provides a post-Ph.D. agricultural economist 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.

Expectations and Opportunities for the Agricultural Economics Fellow

  • Participate and engage in Farm Foundation programs or events (e.g., attend or participate in relevant conferences)
  • Produce several short written pieces (such as blog posts)
  • Write at least one issue paper on sustainable agricultural production, which may cover topics including but not limited to animal or crop production, regenerative agriculture, climate and/or carbon-related issues such as knowledge gaps related to carbon sequestration and GHG mitigation options
  • Attend the Farm Foundation Round Table meetings in June 2021 (virtual) and January 2022 (tentatively planned for Delray Beach, Florida)
  • Network and be mentored by staff in USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist, with at least six meetings anticipated
  • Mentor and meet with participants in the Farm Foundation and USDA Economic Research Service Ag Scholars program on a recurring basis
  • Mentor and meet with other participants in Farm Foundation’s suite of next generation programs as time and opportunities allow