Dr. Thraen has forty years experience studying the U.S. and world dairy food industry. His primary research interests are in applied mathematical optimization and statistical and econometric modeling of economic functions and efficiency of agricultural markets. This includes the quantitative modeling of agricultural and agribusiness decision processes, applied commodity price forecasting using Bayesian times-series techniques; and the development and application of advanced econometric methods to the study of futures markets. Dr. Thraen is studying the commodity market contracts for milk, cheese, butter and nonfat dry milk; trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Dr. Thraen is also co-director of the National Program for Integrated Dairy Risk Management Education and Research, a national program to develop educational materials and computer software for the dairy industry. He is active in state and national dairy industry activities and teaches applied mathematical optimization and agribusiness marketing.
Dr. Thraen has received numerous awards for his work with the dairy industry, both here in Ohio and at the national and international level.
Dr. Thraen is co-recipient of the 2015 Award for Professional Excellence-Distinguished Extension Program – Group presented by the American Association of Agricultural Economist. This award was presented in recognition of the Dairy Markets and Policy Program and its contribution to policy research and education in the United States Dairy industry.
Dr. Thraen is co-recipient of the 2000 Award for Professional Excellence- Distinguished Extension Programs- Group presented by the American Association of Agricultural Economists. This award was in recognition of the National Program for Integrated Dairy Risk Management Education and Research, co-directed by Dr. Thraen.
Dr. Thraen is a co-recipient of the 1992 Outstanding Journal Article Award presented by the Canadian Agricultural Economics and Farm Management Society. This award was in recognition of the economic analysis contributed to understanding the implications of the Canadian-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
Dr. Thraen was a co-recipient of the 1987 National Merit Award, Soil Conservation Society of America. This award was presented for the book Conserving Soil: Insights from Socioeconomic Research, Soil Conservation Society of America.
Dr. Thraen is a co-recipient of the 1987 Award for Professional Excellence- Distinguished Extension Programs – Group presented by the American Agricultural Economics Association. This award was in recognition of the economic analysis contributed to the educational program on the Dairy Herd Buyout Program.