AEDE graduate student John Newton was recently offered a prestigious fellowship to work with the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry during the summer of 2013. Mr. Newton will serve as a Fellow in the program based in Washington D.C. from mid-May to early August.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry works on a number of federal policy proposals related to the nation’s food and energy resources. In particular, the Committee, which is chaired by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, works on the farm bill, which is the U.S. government’s primary agricultural and food policy tool.
The farm bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that is renewed every five years or so. In the 2008 version, the farm bill covered a broad range of issues – ranging from support for federal crop insurance to the promotion of local farmers markets to incentives for the development of bio-based energy. In May 2012, Congress took up discussion of a 2012 farm bill, which passed in the Senate, but not in the House, causing the 2008 farm bill to be extended to allow for the passage of a 2013 bill, which is currently being debated by policymakers.
Mr. Newton is a PhD student at AEDE focusing on agricultural economics. In particular, he works with his faculty advisor, Dr. Cameron Thraen, on dairy markets research. With Thraen and researchers from several other U.S. universities, he has co-authored several papers evaluating the dairy insurance options in the farm bill. Their most recent analysis, “Goodlatte-Scott vs. Dairy Security Act: Shared Potential, Shared Concerns and Open Questions”, has garnered significant attention from the U.S. dairy community and is being used by policymakers in Washington D.C. to analyze dairy insurance proposals in the 2013 farm bill.
May 1, 2013