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The University of Tennessee | Institute of Agriculture

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

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Production/Farm Management

Farmers are being affected by profound changes in the demand for agricultural products, rising costs of production, rapid advances in agricultural production technology, and uncertain government policies. These and other issues facing farmers are often complex and management strategies and practices must keep pace. Crop and livestock producers who keep up with these advances will be more likely survive and prosper in the future. Understanding the economics and risks surrounding new and emerging technologies will help producers make better management decisions for improving the bottom lines of their farm businesses.

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics is uniquely positioned to teach prospective producers, consultants, and government employees how to make sound economic decisions, and to provide them with practical economic evaluation of new and emerging agricultural production technologies and technology-appropriate management practices through research and Extension efforts.

Department Personnel Working in Production Economics and Farm Management:
Christopher Boyer, Assistant Professor, Farm Management, Production Economics, and Natural Resource Economics
Burton English - Professor and Research Coordinator (Research and Teaching)
Delton Gerloff - Professor and Interim Department Head (Extension); Programs in farm and financial management and crops marketing
James Larson - Associate Professor (Research and Teaching); Farm management, risk management, and production economics
Jamey Menard - Research Associate (Research); Impact analysis and production economics
Margarita Velandia - Assistant Professor (Research and Extension); Farm management and production economics, and programs in organic agriculture and tobacco management

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Extension

The Department teaches several courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels that deal with economic decision making at the firm level. A list of courses is given below and course descriptions can be found in the Courses of Instruction sections of the latest Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.

Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Courses

Farm management and production economists in the Department have conducted research dealing with precision farming, biotechnology, conservation tillage, biofuels, new crop and livestock products, and new management practices for crop and livestock production.

Selected Research Projects

  • Hatch Project TN00348, Economic Analysis of Agricultural Production Systems in Tennessee”
  • Congressional Earmark, “UT Switchgrass Project”
  • Cotton Incorporated Projects
    – Regional Precision Farming Project: Cotton Incorporated Project 07-131, “Economics of Precision Farming Working Group—Tennessee”
    – Tennessee Precision Farming Project: Cotton Incorporated Project 07-132, “Current State and Future Adoption of Precision Farming Technologies by Cotton Farmers in Tennessee”
    – Regional Tillage Project: Cotton Incorporated Project 07-121, “Current Economic Status of Conservation and No-Till Cotton Production in the Southeastern United States Working Group—Tennessee”

Recent Publications include:

More publications are listed on our Production Publications and Management Publications page, Production Economics Analysis Group, Bio-based Energy Analysis Group, and Agri-Industry Modeling & Analysis Group.

Extension offers financial planning, marketing and stress management help through The MANAGE Program. MANAGE was specifically to help Tennessee farm families carefully evaluate their individual situation and assist them in improving their quality of life. Over 15, 000 Tennessee farm families have participated in the program.

Ten area Farm Management Specialists provide farm and financial support to Tennesseans across the entire state.

Extension specialist in the department publish short term planning budgets each year.

The current budgets are available to download here