As of June 2017, the College’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) was ranked nineteenth worldwide among university agricultural economics departments, a significant achievement for a relatively small department competing with departments at much larger institutions such as Ohio State University, the University of Illinois and Purdue.
“Our goal is to continue our status as a premiere department of agricultural and resource economics, committed to excellence in teaching, research and extension,” says Rigoberto Lopez, professor and department head. “ARE is uniquely positioned within UConn, as a nexus between biological and physical sciences and the social and policy sciences.”
ARE is home to the Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy, which focuses on solutions to high-priority problems related to food, health, natural resources and the environment. The center is named for Charles J. Zwick, an alumnus and benefactor of the department. A distinguished scholar, public servant and business leader, Zwick served on the faculty at UConn and at Harvard University and was director of OMB during President Johnson’s administration. After leaving government service, Zwick served as president, CEO and chairman of the board of trustees for the Southeast Banking Corporation.
Recent Zwick Center activities include a pilot project involving graduate and undergraduate students to collect data on low-income households in Willimantic; co-funding a new portable economic laboratory; presentations to the Connecticut Farm Bureau and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture detailing the economic impacts of Connecticut’s agricultural industry; and funding a study on the impacts of diet quality and food consumption behavior by low-income households.
ARE encourages and supports research collaborations with other units, including the College’s Departments of Natural Resources and the Environment, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Extension, and the UConn School of Engineering. The department also partners with UConn’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity in its mission to improve public health issues related to food. (more…)