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Photo of Julie Caswell

March 2014

We are proud to announce that Julie Caswell has been named one of the Women of Influence in the Food Industry for 2014.  Women of Influence honors are awarded by the Griffin Publishing Company and are supported by individuals and firms from throughout the food industry. (see page 9)

Julie has been involved in education, research and outreach in the food industry since she arrived at UMass in 1984.  During her tenure at UMass, she has taught courses in food marketing, industrial organization of the food sector, and global hunger issues.  Her focus has been to teach students how to use economic analysis to understand the food industry and policy impacts. Her Hunger in a Global Economy course explores the balance between a rapidly growing population and a potentially slower growing food supply. The Department is fortunate that Julie now teaches our Integrative Experience seminar, Life is Full of Choices Integrated Experience Seminar for Resource Economics majors.

Julie’s research focuses on understanding the operation of domestic and international food systems, analyzing how well they work, and evaluating how government policy affects their operation and performance. Her interest is in the economics of food quality, especially the quality attributes of safety and nutrition. She is also interested in the economics of certification, traceability, and labeling for quality attributes. Some examples include: how to prioritize the importance of different foodborne risks; whether regulatory programs such as preventative controls requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act will enhance food safety at a reasonable cost; how benefit and risk information can be balanced and effectively communicated to consumers; and how international trade agreements influence food quality.  Her research has had impacts on national and international policies. This fall Julie consulted with the FAO in Rome and this fall with both the Senate and House.

Congratulations Julie!!

Photo of John Spraggon

January 2014

Dr. John Spraggon received an Erskine Visiting Fellowship for his sabbatical leave this spring at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Dr. Spraggon has accepted an Erskine Visiting Fellowship from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch New Zealand for Spring 2014.  John expects to work with several of his colleagues while on leave in New Zealand, Dr. Jeremy Clark and Dr. Maros Servatka.  John also plans to visit Dr. Steven Tucker at the Waikato Management School in New Zealand and Dr. Lata Gangadharan at Monash University in Australia. Dr. Spraggon will work on research relating to Microcredit, Environmental Compliance, Institution Choice as well as other projects.  We wish John a productive and enjoyable sabbatical leave and look forward to his return for fall semester.