Alvaro Durand-Morat, University of Arkansas

Alvaro Durand-Morat is an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas. He received his Ph.D. in public policy and M.Sc. in agricultural economics from University of Arkansas, and his B.S. degree in agricultural engineering from the National University of Entre Rios, Argentina. Before joining the University of Arkansas in 2014, Dr. Durand-Morat served as policy and economic advisor for the Argentinean rice sector. 

Dr. Durand-Morat specializes in rice economic modeling, and currently leads the Arkansas Global Rice Economic Program at the University of Arkansas. His latest research focuses on the economic and food security implications of rice production technologies, rice sustainability, and the impact of agricultural policies on the global rice market. 


Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr., University of Arkansas

Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr. is currently a professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. Dr. Nayga’s research interests include the economics of food consumption, policy, and health. He has focused his work on critical issues such as poverty, nutrition, obesity, and novel food technologies. He has examined issues related to how people comprehend and use food and nutritional labels and how these would then influence a number of important health related outcomes such as diet quality and obesity.

He has also analyzed the effects of important federal food programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program on food consumption and obesity. His work in this area provided crucial information on the causal effects of important federal food programs/policies on health outcomes of various segments of the population including children and historically disadvantaged groups. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Dr. Nayga was a distinguished professor and Tyson Endowed Chair in food policy economics at the University of Arkansas.

He also was a faculty member at Rutgers University and at Massey University, New Zealand. He has been a Fulbright senior scholar at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, adjunct professor at Korea University and Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research, NBER research economist, and senior research fellow of the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study in Tokyo. He also was an executive board member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast.


 Bradley Watkins, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture 

Dr. Watkins is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart, Arkansas. He has a 75 percent research appointment and a 25 percent Extension appointment. The primary focus of his research program is identification of production systems and/or management practices that reduce inputs and lead to greater profitability in rice production. His Extension program is devoted to dissemination of economic information related to alternative cropping systems, management practices, and/or technologies that promote the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of rice production in Arkansas. He also works on economic evaluation of alternative government programs and other important economic                                                        problems related to Arkansas agriculture.  


Ranjitsihn Mane, University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff

Ranjitsinh Mane, PhD, is an associate professor of agricultural and consumer economics in the Department of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. He obtained a Ph.D. in public policy (agricultural policy) at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.  

Dr. Mane has been working on rice production economics and marketing for the past 17 years and has numerous academic and professional work published and presented at academic and professional meetings. He has served as a consultant to the Asian Development Bank, International Rice Research Institute and other national and regional organizations addressing agricultural policy issues such as developing collective market intelligence tools to address price volatility in ASEAN countries. Dr. Mane provides leadership and assistance in analyzing issues that focus on production economics and farm management issues related to delta states row crop agriculture.  Topics include profitability of different row crop systems, strategies for water conservation and irrigation efficiency, farm level impacts of government policy, development of management decision aids and risk management practices. 


Luis Espino, University of California Cooperative Extension

Luis Espino is a rice farming system advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension. Luis obtained his masters in Agronomy and Ph.D. in entomology from Texas A&M University. He has been working in rice systems in California since 2007, focusing on integrated management of rice arthropods and diseases.




Amber Sciligo, The Organic Center

Dr. Sciligo is the director of science programs and directs projects associated with communicating and conducting research related to organic agriculture. She has extensive experience communicating scientific research to the public, farmers, policymakers and other researchers and has managed several OREI-funded conferences and planning grant projects.