“Applied economists are concerned with more than just numbers and economic theory,” says new AEDE Professor Wuyang Hu. “Many of us are interested in solving real-life problems and making a difference on an individual level.”
A fitting philosophy for a professor and researcher whose work over the past twenty-years has kept him focused on food related issues where the environment, economics and society intersect.
Hu recently joined The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Science as part of the university’s Initiative for Food and Agricultural Transformation (InFACT). Hu comes to OSU from the University of Kentucky’s Department of Agricultural Economics where he served as the H. B. Price Endowed Professor and Principal Investigator of the University’s Food Systems Innovation Center. Along with his arrival, Hu brings his editorship of the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics.
Hu feels AEDE is the ideal department for him to work with colleagues to tackle issues that affect individuals and society as there is ample in-house support and exiting research on food systems, sustainable food production and consumer economics. Hu explains that decisions affecting the environment, agriculture and economics influence each other. Agriculture is a complex system and it makes sense for producers to adopt new technology or practice to save water and use less pesticides but we also need to make sure the environmental benefit they create is known to the society.
“Society in turn should reward such stewardship, and, importantly, producers should be assured to receive the reward,” shares Hu. “This is a way to ensure the very concept of sustainability is sustainable in reality. I want to be that facilitator to allow the system to flow as smoothly as possible.” Hu adds
Hu has a wide range of experience teaching agricultural and applied economics and is looking forward to working with students when his teaching schedule commences later in the spring of 2018. Hu says the learning occurs both ways in his class: he learns from his students as much as the students may learn from him.
“Students have new ideas and we can gain a lot from their new generation of thinking,” says Hu. “It is a privilege to witness a student growing in wisdom, experience and knowledge.”
The university’s Discovery Themes initiative influenced Hu’s decision to come to OSU and he shares that he is looking forward to working with the varied colleagues and students to translate new thought into practical solutions.