UMD AREC Welcomes James MacDonald

Image Credit: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

February 7, 2020 Aleah Green

The Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics is excited to welcome economist James MacDonald as one of our newest professors. 

This semester he is excited about developing and teaching AREC 433: Food and Agricultural Policy. Similar to his own research, the course focuses on public policies regarding the food system, application of economic analysis and quantitative literacy. 

Before joining the University of Maryland team, MacDonald worked as an economics professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and as an economist for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS).

MacDonald has since become the chief of Structure, Technology and Productivity Branch and continues those duties part-time. 

MacDonald is looking forward to using farm surveys and statistical surveys to obtain data for research, especially at the university.

MacDonald’s research focuses on how U.S. agriculture is changing, industrial organization, precision agriculture, and the application of information technology on agriculture equipment.  

“Much of what I did at the USDA was tied to analysis with U.S. agriculture farm surveys and statistical surveys and I will continue to use that data for research and teaching at the university,” says MacDonald.  

MacDonald received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Siena College and his Ph.D. in Economics from SUNY Buffalo.

His career has consisted of a lot of empirical research and he plans to continue that work at the university. 

Welcome aboard!