History of AFRE
How We Got Here
- Faculty at MSU began publishing on topics related to the discipline in 1898, and the first course was offered in 1906.
- Agricultural Economics faculty initially worked in a section of the Economics Department.
- In 1949 the standalone Department of Agricultural Economics (AEC) was formed through the joining of faculty from the Economics Department section with those in the Farm Management Unit in the College of Agriculture.
- In 2008 the AEC Department modified its name to the present form, Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) to more fully reflect the breadth of topics addressed in its work.
2015 AFRE Historical Reviews
- An AFRE annual faculty meeting on May 15, 2015, served as a kick-off discussion point for a series of Departmental mini historical reviews. View program and papers below:
- Program - Symposium on AFRE’s History. 1:15 -2:30 pm, May 15, 2015.
The Spartan School of Institutional Economics at Michigan State University and the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, by A. Allan Schmid, Professor Emeritus.
- History of Marketing Programs in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics of Michigan State University, Circa 1950 to 2014, by John (Jake) Ferris, Professor Emeritus and James Hilker, Professor.
Historical Milestones of AFRE International Involvement in Teaching, Research, Outreach and Capacity/Institution Building Activities. Draft May 2, 2015. By Michael T. Weber, Professor Emeritus.
- Dr. Weber speaking notes (Ten Commandments for a Good International Program: Then and Now - L.J. Connor, 2/18/87 & M. Weber, 5/15/2015)
- History of Farm Management, Agricultural Finance, and Production Economics at MSU - By Dr. Mike Kelsey
Additional Historical Resources
- Read more about some of AEC/AFRE’s early developments and people in the following downloadable resources:
- Elton B. Hill - AEC/AFRE History Documents 1906-1972
- W.O.Hedrick - History of Agricultural Economics at MSU 1910-1945
- George E. Rossmiller - History of Extension Activities in the Department of Agricultural Economics at MSU. 1968
- Plus Two Score: The Cooperative Extension Service in Michigan 1940 to 1980. By Einer Olstrom and Howard Miller. Cooperative Extension Service, Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI.
- pp 63-69 covers marketing, resource development & wildlife management topics.
- pp 100-108 covers Project 80, the birth of Telefarm, rural leadership training programs topics.
- A Conversation with Karl T. Wright. 1985. A video interview by Laurie Wink, MSU Extension, produced in conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of the American Association of Agricultural Economists.
- The Spartan School of Institutional Economics at Michigan State University. 2002. by A. Allan Schmid