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Economist receives lifetime achievement award

Steve Amosson received the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization's annual meeting in Orlando. Fla., on Feb. 2.

Amosson is a Regents Fellow and a professor and economist with Texas Cooperative Extension in Amarillo.

During the presentation, Amosson spoke on some of the highlights of his career, as well as what opportunities and challenges lie ahead for his profession.

He is co-director of the national Master Marketer Program, director of the “Have Computer Will Travel” project and project leader of the High Plains Water Planning Team. He also has served as project director or principal investigator on more than 60 grants.

Amosson outlined three areas of concern for the agricultural economics profession, starting with a need for a more streamlined approach to remain effective, “always keeping in mind what our clientele needs. Unbiased information needs to be delivered to our producers in a cost effective manner, primarily via the Internet.”

Second, he said, there needs to be an emphasis on intensive educational programming taught at a high quality and applied level, and targeted to areas that producers have indicated they need help with. Providing producers with information is one thing. Teaching them how to process and interpret that information correctly is critical to improving their bottom line.

“Finally, we need to be responsive to our industry in providing unbiased applied research to issues they have in all areas,” he said. “If we can accomplish these three objectives, the future of ag economics discipline in Extension will be bright.”

A native of Eagle Grove, Iowa, Amosson earned a bachelor of science degree and a master's degree from Iowa State University, and a doctorate from Texas A&M.

He has been with Texas A&M since 1977, and with Extension since 1985.

His primary responsibility is Extension's education/applied research program in agricultural economics in 21 Panhandle counties.

Most recently, Amosson was presented with the American Agricultural Economics Association's Distinguished Extension Award: More Than 10 Years' Experience.

He has received more than 20 other awards for contributions in marketing, finance and policy from professional and clientele groups. Some were presented by: American Agricultural Economics Association, Western Agricultural Economics Association, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Association of Wheat Growers.

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