Professor Brian Roe has been selected as a 2022 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Fellow, the association’s most prestigious honor. Fellows are selected based on their continuous contribution to the advancement of agricultural or applied economics through research, outreach, teaching, extension, administration and additional contributions.
Roe has been at The Ohio State University since 1998, and serves as associate chair of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). He also holds the Fred N. VanBuren Professorship in Farm Management and is director of the Ohio State Food Waste Collaborative.
Roe’s connection to his work is a personal one. He is a son and brother of farmers. He grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and credits his hard-working parents with instilling positive work habits and a sense of responsibility in him.
“I am humbled by the honor of being named as a fellow,” Roe said. “It is an accomplishment that was only possible with the support of my family and the great colleagues and students I have had the privilege to work with over the past twenty plus years in AEDE and Ohio State. In particular, my wife and colleague Elena Irwin has been an incredible source of personal and professional inspiration and support.”
An admired collEague
“I have known Brian since 1992 when we were in graduate school together and have had the fortune to work with him for over 20 years,” said AEDE Chair Tim Haab. “From early on it was clear that Brian had a unique mind that was destined to change the way others think. That has borne out over an impressive career. But perhaps more impressive are the integrity and humility with which he approaches all of his professional and personal interactions. Scholar, teacher, mentor, friend, and now Fellow. There are few who are as deserving of this recognition.”
Roe was nominated by AEDE colleagues who are also AAEA Fellows, Professors Mario Miranda and Ian Sheldon, The Andersons Endowed Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy. Seven current AAEA fellows also expressed enthusiastic support for Roe’s nomination, demonstrating the impact he has had on colleagues in the field.
“We were pleased to nominate Dr. Roe for his path-breaking applications of experimental and behavioral economics methods to food, agricultural and environmental economics research,” Sheldon said. “Additionally, his impactful and wide-ranging body of applied research on critical public policy issues is unparalleled – most notably his contributions to analysis of food labeling, food waste, food safety, consumer awareness and sustainable agriculture.”
Nominators also highlighted Roe’s exemplary service to AAEA, where he was a long-serving and innovative co-editor and editor to the co-editors of the association’s flagship journal, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics (AJAE). Colleagues credit Roe with modernizing and updating the journal’s ethical standards and transparency.
A prolific researcher
Current AAEA Fellows and supporters of Roe’s nomination referred to him as the world’s foremost expert on food waste, and one of the most creative, insightful and rigorous researchers in the field of agricultural economics. Also noted was how Roe’s research has defined the frontier for a long list of policy issues, and has been highly influential in food product labeling and thinking surrounding consumer perceptions.
“When I think of Brian Roe, I think about an exceptional economist that works on tangible problems to agriculture and society at large,” said current AAEA Fellow, Dr. Barry K. Goodwin, Reynolds Distinguished Professor and Graduate Alumni Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University. “Brian is not solely a production economist, an environmental economist, a resource economist, or a policy economist – he is all those things and more! He excels in all areas that he works in but is exceptional for the breadth of his research.”
An exemplary mentor and teacher
Roe’s mentorship of students and commitment to teaching were also highlighted by colleagues.
He has advised 18 doctoral students to completion. Seven of his former advisees are currently professors at various ranks at several research universities and selective liberal arts colleges.
“He is one of the best teachers I have ever met,” said Ran Li, PhD student in AEDE and one of Roe’s current advisees. “He mentors students in accordance with our aptitude. He devotes a lot of time to talking with us and getting to know everyone’s characteristics. He always gives the sincerest advice according to our goals and strengths. He helps me figure out my career path and inspires me to master professional skills.
Li continued, “A Chinese proverb – ‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.’ Dr. Roe’s mentorship teaches us how to ‘fish,’ instead of giving us a fish, which will benefit us for a lifetime. I have gained much from his guidance, and I am very happy for him to be selected as a 2022 Fellow for AAEA.”
Roe also served as AEDE’s undergraduate program leader for nine years. During his tenure, he oversaw several major revisions to the undergraduate curriculum, positioning the department to continue meeting the evolving needs of undergraduate students in applied and agricultural economics. He is also the recipient of multiple awards from student organizations across the university, and serves as advisor to the agribusiness club.
"Dr. Roe is committed to the success of students both in and out of the classroom," said Ryanna Tietje, treasurer of the agribusiness club. "He is a remarkable mentor as he guides students through their education at The Ohio State University and connects them with outstanding career opportunities."
Roe will be recognized at the AAEA annual conference in Anaheim, California, along with five other members of the 2022 Fellows cohort.