The Michigan State University Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics (AFRE) has been ranked fourth in the world for its excellence in the agricultural and applied economics profession by the Center for World University Rankings.
AFRE is home to some of the world’s premiere agricultural economists as well as the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, a USAID-supported program to help countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America fight hunger, reduce poverty and improve nutritional outcomes through better food policy.
“This new high ranking of our department is a great honor that reflects external recognition of the high quality of contributions made to creating new knowledge and economic opportunities by our excellent faculty, staff and students. While this new recognition is exciting, we know that it is the outcome of past strategic choices and hard work by many over the past five to seven years,” said Titus Awokuse, department chair. “To maintain our department's high research standards and global food policy impact, we must continue to invest in our faculty, students and staff by facilitating an environment where innovative thinking, learning and outreach can continue to take place.”
The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) publishes a global university ranking that measures the quality of education and training of students as well as the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of their research without relying on surveys and university data submissions.
The rankings are based on eight indicators: quality of education, alumni employment, quality of the faculty, publications, influence, citations, broad impact and patents.
“A lot of future farmers and agricultural industry employees major in MSU’s agricultural economics programs,” said Matt Kapp, Chair of Michigan Farm Bureau’s MSU Relations Committee. “Farmers rely on MSU’s AFRE department to understand how public policy proposals such as the Farm Bill will affect farmers. For example, at past MFB annual meetings, MSU AFRE professors have presented to our members on the farm bill. Examples include Dr. Chris Wolf, as well as the late Dr. David Schweikhardt, who MFB just honored with their Distinguished Service to Ag award. AFRE’s Jim Hilker has also provided commodity market forecasts for MFB’s Michigan Farm News for many years.”
“The department also provides research and education through the MSU Extension Service. Some of the topics that Ag Econ staff study and provide information on through the Extension Service are:
- Farm management
- Farm bill
- Farm policy
- Land Use Policy
- Energy Policy
- Farmland Values
- Risk management
- Structural change in agriculture
- Technology adoption by farms
- Measuring and explaining farm size distributions
So we’re thrilled to learn about the high ranking of MSU’s Ag Econ department, but are not at all surprised,” said Kapp.
The ranking started out as a project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2012 with the aim of rating the top 100 global universities. It was quickly reported worldwide by universities and the media, and many requests were received to expand it. In 2014, the ranking expanded to list the top 1000 out of 26,000+ degree-granting institutions of higher education worldwide, making it the largest academic ranking of global universities.
Since 2016, the Center for World University Rankings has been headquartered in the United Arab Emirates.