Download Opportunities For Economists in Agricultural Marketing Service

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2007 Joint Annual Meeting between the American
Agricultural Economics Association, the Western
Agricultural Economics Association, and the Canadian
Agricultural Economics Society
Kenneth C. Clayton
Associate Administrator
Agricultural Marketing Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agency Profile
 Program areas: primarily by commodity
 Employees:
• Full-time federal
• Other than full-time Federal
• State (federally supervised)
 Cooperative agreements
 Federal offices
 Statutes administered
Cash & Carry Programs
 Voluntary third-party grading, certification,
and process verification services for a fee
 Support/protect buyers and sellers in
commercial transactions
 Basis for product and/or production process
marketing claims
 USDA seal especially important in
international markets
 75 percent of AMS workforce
AMS Certification
Industry Self-Help
 Industry initiated regulatory programs
Marketing orders
Research & promotion programs
 4 percent of AMS workforce
Marketing Agreements &
 Stabilize market conditions and improve
producer income through:
• Minimum prices for fluid milk
• Quality and quantity requirements
• Market development and promotion
 AMS marketing orders include:
• 11 dairy marketing orders
• 34 fruit & vegetable marketing orders
Research & Promotion
AMS provides Federal oversight of industry
funded self-help programs
Research & Promotion Programs include:
 Avocado
 Cotton
 Beef
 Dairy
 Egg
 Mango
 Fluid milk
 Honey
 Mushroom
 Popcorn
 Peanut
 Lamb
 Pork
 Potato
 Soybean
 Watermelon
 Blueberry
Public Goods Programs
 Program beneficiaries broadly based,
difficult to individually identify
 15 percent of AMS workforce
Market News
 600+ daily, monthly, and annual
Federal/State and international reports
 Time-sensitive information
 Internet access
• 40 million hits per year
 Covers all major agricultural products
 Helps to equalize agricultural marketing
Commodity Standards
 Describe product quality attributes
 Provide a common language of trade for
buyers and sellers
 494 U.S. and international standards in
• Cotton
• Livestock and meat
• Dairy products
• Poultry and eggs
• Fruits and vegetables • Tobacco
 Utilized in user fee grading and market
news reporting
Transportation Services
 Conducts economic studies and
analyses on distribution of agricultural
products in domestic and international
 Assists shippers entering the export
 Represents U.S. agricultural interests
on transportation issues before industry
and governmental regulatory bodies
Wholesale & Farmers
Market Development
 Assists in feasibility analysis and
preliminary design of public wholesale
marketing facilities
 Provides technical assistance on farmer
direct marketing
 Operates USDA farmers market
 Farmers Market Promotion Program
Commodity Purchases
 Removes surplus commodities from
markets for distribution through
National School Lunch Program and
other Federal food and nutrition
 Purchased over $949 million in FY
 Meat, fruits and vegetables, poultry
products, and fish
 Emergency and disaster relief
Regulatory Programs
 Promotes fair trading practices
 6 percent of AMS workforce
National Organic Program
 Develops national standards with the
National Organic Standards Board
 Enhances marketing opportunities for
organically produced foods
 Accredits State and private certification
Perishable Agricultural
Commodities Act
 Ensures fair trading in the fresh and
frozen fruit and vegetable industry
 Issues licenses to companies and
individuals that buy, sell, and/or broker
commercial quantities of fruits and
vegetables in interstate and foreign
 Suspends or revokes licenses to firms
that violate fair trading practices
 Provides a forum for fruit and vegetable
firms to resolve contract disputes
Country of Origin
 Provides consumers information on
which to base their purchasing decisions
 Requires retailers to notify customers of
country of origin of covered commodities
 Conducts retail surveillance audits
 Investigates any consumer complaints
How Can You Become a Part?
Student Positions
1890 National Scholars Program
Student Career Experience Program
Presidential Management Fellows Program
Career Intern Program
Student Temporary Employment Program
Summer Intern Program
Agricultural Marketing Service
Opportunities for Economists
• Employment
 Undergraduates – economist, market reporter,
marketing specialist
 Graduate students – more limited, but periodic needs
• Faculty Development – mini-sabbaticals
• Cooperative Research Agreements – quantitative models,
supply & demand elasticities, transportation issues, etc.
• Analytical and research support for agency programs
 Regulatory impact analysis
 Analysis in support of agency business operations
 Justification for commodity purchases
 Research and analysis on transportation, marketing
chain, etc.
For More Information
 Website:
 Phone: 202-720-5115