An intentional approach to problem-solving

Impactful By Design

We conduct society-relevant, applied research on economic issues related to agriculture, the environment and natural resources. Whether focusing on water quality or agricultural policy or investigating the impact of biotechnology or the supply and demand of agricultural commodities, we address questions and deliver solutions for real-world problems.

Multi-disciplinary in scope, we partner with food scientists on food safety, horticultural scientists on marketing crops and biological and agricultural engineers on waste management, just to name a few. And students play a prominent role in our globally-ranked scholarship, driven by well-respected and well-published faculty and sustained by state and federal grants.

Research Highlights

Through their research, our faculty address questions and provide answers to real-world problems — whether focused on water quality, agricultural policy, renewable energy or food systems. This research impacts local, regional, national and international communities in meaningful ways.

Capturing the Value of Renewable Energy

Harrison Fell is conducting research on issues related to renewable energy integration and the value of renewable energy. One of his current projects examines how the market and environmental value of renewable energy changes as transmission capacity increases — for example when transporting power from west to east. Another means to transfer power involves energy storage with slower distribution. He is also researching how energy storage affects the market and environmental value of renewable energy.

Working on a team of faculty across NC State’s campus, Dr. Fell predicts more transmission capacity and energy storage should increase the market and environmental value of renewable energy resources, yet the question remains whether these practices increase values enough to warrant their high investment costs. Learn more about Harrison Fell.

Focused on the 2018 Farm Bill

Barry Goodwin’s research focuses on policy analysis, in particular, the implications of the federal crop insurance program in the United States and internationally. He conducts background research related to the 2018 Farm Bill, focusing on how the legislation will impact the agricultural economy. Whether a new Farm Bill will pass in 2018 is debatable. Dr. Goodwin believes that major U.S. agricultural policy changes are unlikely when the Farm Bill eventually passes, yet he anticipates increased support for dairy and cotton. He also investigates statistical issues relevant to the empirical measurement of risks, frequently collaborating with the USDA’s Risk Management Agency and several Economics Ph.D. students.

Dr. Goodwin also conducts research related to price transmission and market linkages, specifically looking at how markets separated by space, time or market form are related to one another. Much of this research utilizes nonlinear time series methods. Learn more about Barry Goodwin.

The Business of Food Systems is Her Business

Kathryn Boys researches issues related to the business and economics of food systems in domestic and international settings. Much of her current work focuses on issues regarding food safety – the adoption by farms and agribusinesses of improved food safety practices, the cost of food safety failures, and the evaluation of policies affecting food safety.

Dr. Boys’ current projects include a study evaluating outcomes in jury-trial court cases related to foodborne-illness, exploring which factors impact plaintiff success and the amounts awarded in these cases. Several of her other projects examine the challenges and opportunities which will be faced by agribusinesses in implementing requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In particular, this work examines the impact of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program requirements on the ability of foreign companies to access the U.S. market. Learn more about Kathryn Boys.

Environmental Protection, Economic Investigation

Roger von Haefen conducts research analyzing off-road vehicle restrictions in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. These restrictions are designed to protect nesting sites for endangered species such as sea turtles and piping plovers. His research suggests the recreational costs of off-road vehicle restrictions are less than the environmental benefits.

Working with a team from NC State, Maryland and RTI International, Dr. von Haefen also conducts ongoing EPA-funded research that monetizes the economic benefits associated with improved water quality in wadeable streams in urbanizing watersheds such as North Carolina’s Triangle region.

Dr. von Haefen’s other research includes:

  • Investigating the effects of weather on coastal recreational fishing and its implications for climate change;
  • Investigating the natural resource damages from oil spills such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; and
  • The benefits and costs of proposed changes to North Carolina’s automotive inspection and maintenance programs.

Learn more about Roger von Haefen.

Seminars and Workshops

We offer multiple opportunities for students to interact with renowned experts in the field as well as their peers. To be exposed to diverse, cutting-edge research as well as present their own. Search our seminars and workshops to learn something new.