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Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

College alumni create thriving online businesses

Andrew Marcus and Jesse Silkoff

Andrew Marcus (left) and Jesse Silkoff (right).

After meeting their freshman year on the UConn Men’s Tennis team in 2007, Jesse Silkoff and Andrew Marcus are now business partners, running MyTennisLessons and out of Austin, Texas. Their online companies help match clients searching for a tennis coach or personal trainer in their local area. Silkoff and Marcus both earned degrees in applied and resource economics from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Their path to becoming business owners began before leaving UConn in 2011.

During their senior year, Silkoff and Marcus entered a business plan competition held by the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI) in the School of Business. The competition was university-wide, open to all students regardless of major or academic level. Seventy-six teams entered the competition with their plans being judged by a panel that included several business executives. Silkoff and Marcus won the top prize of $10,000 for their promising strategy for their proposal entitled Tennis Professionals.


CAHNR in the news

Students with mobile devicesSome of CAHNR’s people, places and programs made the news recently. The bolded topics are linked to media coverage. The roman text links go to additional information.

UConn Alumni website. 12-21-16. Highlighted alumnus Tony Bachiochi’s role in starting a homey Willimantic coffee shop with the farmers’ interests in mind. Bachiochi got his degree in resource economics in 2015, and his business is called Grounded Coffee Company.

By Patsy Evans

CAHNR in the news

newspaper readersSome of CAHNR’s people, places and programs made the news recently. The bolded topics are linked to media coverage. The roman text links go to additional information.

Brattleboro Reformer. 12-10, 11-16. Reported that Denise “Jane” Ashworth, a  College alumna with two degrees in horticulture, published her first children’s book at age 99.

WNPR. 12-13-16. Pointed out that buying local can include more than produce. In the article, Stacey Stearns, a program specialist in the department of extension,  mentioned other ways Connecticut citizens can be locavores.

UConn Today. 12-16-16. Cited research that showed that black youth were exposed to more junk food advertising than other kids who did not watch black-targeted networks.  Co-author of the study, published in Pediatric Obesity, is Associate Professor Jennifer Harris of allied health sciences. See also The Washington Post. 12-15-16,  CBS Philly. 12-16-16,  NewsOne. 12-19-16, Fox News. 12-20-16 and The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education . 1-3-17.


Meet undergraduate Carina Immer

Carina Immer

Carina Immer

With her eyes set on a possible future in the food industry, Carina Immer helped organize an international food festival. In addition, she works with a sustainable coffee company to better the lives of workers living in Nicaragua. Raised in Fairfield, Immer enjoys traveling and working outdoors. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.

What attracted you to UConn? The agricultural economics major was attractive, and the in-state tuition was appealing to me. I visited some lectures at UConn when I was in high school and found many of the professors interesting. I hit it off with CAHNR and knew I wanted to be there.

What is your major, and why did you choose it? I chose applied and resource economics because I feel that it reflects my personality really well. It is well rounded, interdisciplinary and covers many aspects, such as politics, business and sustainable development.

I am also minoring in Latin American studies, which I think is important in an age of globalization and international trade. This minor complements my agricultural studies well because I am interested in labor rights and agricultural development in Central America. (more…)

Economist seeks to determine the contribution of food and agriculture industries to US economy

Richard Dunn

Richard Dunn

Richard Dunn, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, is recognized as one of the leading scholars in the economics of obesity; in 2015 he was a plenary speaker on the topic at the International Health Economics Association Biennial World Congress in Milan, Italy. Prior to arriving at UConn in 2014, he established an extensive research portfolio focused on how the economic environment influences risky health behaviors. For example, he recently published an article that connected declines in the stock market to increases in smoking, alcohol abuse and poor mental health. Another project demonstrated that the Great Recession caused alcohol purchases and drunk driving fatalities to increase.

Dunn is now embarking on an ambitious long-term project to compile and analyze federal administrative and survey data to document the contribution of food and agriculture industries (FAI) to the US economy. Statutory reporting requirements generate a wealth of information about the economic activity at US businesses. This data is a valuable resource that can inform policy decisions, improve production efficiency, increase the competitiveness of US firms and better guide economic development in rural America.

Although the United States Department of Agriculture collects extensive information about on-farm activity, they do not compile data on other segments of the food and fiber supply chain. Rather, these sectors are the responsibility of the Census Bureau. Without a mandate to systematically coordinate reporting across all the economic sectors that constitute the supply chain (on-farm production, manufacturing, warehousing, wholesaling, professional and business services, transportation, retailing and food services), the contribution of food and agriculture to the US economy will be underappreciated.