AARES News and Views




Newsletter of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Inc.

Volume 14, Number 3, December 2002


Editor: Tracy Henderson, University of Queensland
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AARES News and Views






The next event on the AARES Calendar is the Annual Conference in February in Fremantle.  All plans for the conference have been progressing smoothly and it is shaping up as an exciting event.  Registration is now open and you should act now in order to take advantage of the "early bird" discount.  As in recent years, there will be two pre-conference workshops.  One workshop on Salinity is being organised by Tennille Graham.  The other on Climate Risk is being organised by Greg Hertzler.  Both subjects are highly topical and should prove to be very interesting.  As a sign of interest in climatic risk and multi-peril insurance, the WA Minister for Agriculture will open this workshop and the Ministry has provided funds to support bringing speakers to the event.


The last AARES Council meeting was held in Armidale, NSW, in conjunction with the AARES Symposium and the John L. Dillon memorial celebration.  One of the decisions made by Council was to rename the Alan Lloyd Fund the Distinguished Fellows Fund.  Through this fund the Society will be able to honour distinguished members for their contribution to the Society by the presentation of an address at the Annual Conference in their name.  It is intended to maintain the concept of having the presentation made by an internationally-respected member of the profession.


The topic for the Annual AARES Symposium, organised by the Armidale branch, was the new US Farm Bill.  Two well-known US academics, Dan Sumner and David Orden, came to Australia especially for the Symposium and were the principal speakers.  The main thrust of their presentation was that while the Farm Bill wasn't a step forward in terms of de-coupling assistance from the price mechanism, it wasn't a big step backwards as some have claimed.  They were also keen to point out that the Bush Administration's blueprint for the treatment of agriculture in the WTO Doha Round was a much more positive sign for the reduction of protection of agriculture.


The memorial symposium in honour of John Dillon was mainly organised by Jock Anderson and began with a dinner in celebration of John's life and work on the evening before the symposium.  Jack Lewis, the first head of the Agricultural Economics Department at the University of New England, was the main speaker at the dinner, followed by recollections by various colleagues of John's.  The symposium topics were two of John's many interests: the returns from research in agriculture and the economics of development.


As this is the last column I will write as AARES President, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the members of the Council for their hard work, considered judgement and kind support.  I would also like to wish all members the best for the New Year, and I look forward to seeing many of you in Fremantle.

AARES News and Views



Congratulations to the winners of the 2002 AARES-AAEA Young Professionals Travel Exchange Awards!  Dan Phaneuf of North Carolina State University “Headed South” for the AARES meetings in Canberra in February, and called it a “truly exceptional experience in many ways.”  Liz Peterson of the Australian National University is the first recipient of the “Heading North” award, attending the AAEA meetings in Long Beach, California, in July. Dan and Liz have written about their experiences below.

“Heading South” by Dan Phaneuf

“Heading South” to attend the 2002 AARES meetings in Canberra was a truly exceptional experience – both professionally and personally. Professionally it was great to attend the conference. The meeting was well organized, the presentations were of the highest quality, and the research topics addressed interesting applied problems in agricultural and resource economics relevant to Australia and the surrounding region. I particularly liked the intimate feel of the AARES meeting, and found it a nice touch that everyone eats lunch together at the conference venue. The best part of the meeting, however, was the people I met. I was made to feel welcome and enjoyed getting a chance to talk with and get to know so many new people.

Personally the trip was also a big success. Before the conference I had a chance to spend a week seeing some of Australia, and met some people at the University of New England. After the conference I met my wife in New Zealand and spent two weeks touring. These personal experiences would not have been possible without the award.


I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone that helped make this award possible, including the AAEA and AARES, and the North American Branch of the AARES. Their generous financial support and efforts at setting up this program resulted in a unique a memorable experience that would not have been possible without their help.

“Heading North” by Liz Petersen

"Heading North" to attend the AAEA meetings in Longbeach was an outstanding experience for me professionally, culturally and personally. It was great to meet many American academics whose work I had previously read and esteemed. It was equally valuable to meet so many other people with similar work interests. I hope to maintain these relationships and possibly initiate some collaborative research projects.

In addition to the rich experience of the Longbeach meetings, the award gave me the opportunity to visit other universities and research organisations in conjunction with the prize. I traveled to the east coast of the United States (where I gave a seminar at Resources For the Future and presented at North Carolina State University’s Camp Resources), to England (where I gave a seminar and short-course at Imperial College at Wye) and to the Philippines (where I visited the Asian Development Bank). I also took my annual leave to travel through Europe.


In my travels, I found that most of the issues facing agriculture in the US and Europe are similar to those we face in Australia (for example, biotechnology, emerging markets for Natural Resource Management, biodiversity preservation). It was extremely valuable for me to learn of advances made in the US and Europe in these fields. Such an opportunity for international professional and cultural exchange would not have been available to me in the absence of the award. My sincere thanks go to those who organized the award - the AAEA and the AARES (both the Federal Council and North American Branch of the AARES) - for their generosity.



AARES News and Views




AARES members have their say

Many thanks to members who completed the recent AARES survey of members. The survey returned a 34% response rate. Results are now being collated and analysed and will be reported shortly. Respondents were not lost for words!  Many supplemented their answers to the survey questions with valuable comments for improving branch meetings, the Annual Conferences and Symposia, and the various publications of the Society.

5th Annual AARES Symposium: The US Farm Bill and implications for agricultural trade & John L. Dillon Commemorative Day

A very successful AARES Symposium was held on Thursday 19th September 2002 at The University of New England (UNE), hosted by the New England Branch of AARES.  The new US Farm Bill will have important impacts upon international agricultural trade and the pace of international agricultural trade reform. The AARES Symposium attracted an audience of 32 who wished to understand the nature of the Farm Bill and what it means for those involved in international agricultural trade, especially Australian exporters. The Symposium was opened by Dennis Gebbie, Chief International Agricultural Advisor to Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia.  Two senior academics from the US then addressed the Symposium: Professor Daniel Sumner of the University of California at Davis, visiting Fulbright Senior Specialist at UNE and former Senior Staff Economist on the US President’s Council of Economic Advisors; and Professor David Orden of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, co-author of the recently published "Policy Reform in American Agriculture: Analysis and Prognosis". During the rest of the day, perspectives on the issue were provided by David Fetter of the US Embassy, Ivan Roberts of ABARE, Donald MacLaren of the University of Melbourne, Allan Rae of Massey University and Warren Males of the Queensland Sugar Limited. In each session, ample time was allowed for airing of alternative viewpoints and general discussion. Kym Anderson of the University of Adelaide summed up the day's discussions.

The John L. Dillon AO Commemorative Day on "Agricultural Research: Challenges and Economics in the New Millennium" followed on Friday 20th September 2002 at the same venue. This day was organised by Emeritus Professor Jock Anderson to acknowledge the outstanding contributions that the late John Dillon made to the national and international community, particularly his contributions in the way of fostering agricultural research and development that was his main interest during the latter part of his career. A variety of national and international speakers provided accounts of the challenges facing agricultural research at the present time to an audience of approximately 40.  The day began with the renaming of Lecture Theatre 4 in the Faculty of Economics, Business and Law at UNE as the John L. Dillon Lecture Theatre.

On the night of 19th September a dinner was held for those attending one or both days. Emeritus Professor Jack Lewis, founder of agricultural economics at UNE, provided great entertainment in his after-dinner address.  Several former colleagues, students and friends of John Dillon spoke of his involvement in their lives. It was a memorable occasion for the more than 50 attendees.

The John L. Dillon Commemorative Day and Dinner broke even financially, while the 5th Annual AARES Symposium is estimated to have generated a surplus of around $2,400. A special thanks is extended to sponsors of the Symposium and Dillon Day: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia; the Fulbright Foundation; the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; Tyrrell's Wines, the Agricultural Business Research Institute at UNE, the UNE Faculty of Economics, Business and Law and the UNE Development Office.


Introduction to the AARES Web Manager – Atakelty Hailu


As the new manager of the AARES web site, I thought I should introduce myself to AARES members. My name is Atakelty Hailu. I came from Canada to Australia about a year ago to take up a position as a lecturer in the School of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Western Australia. My primary research interests are in the application of agent-based computational economics and environmentally sensitive productivity analysis towards the design of appropriate policies. 

I have recently taken over from Dave Pannell the responsibility of managing the society’s web site. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave for the wonderful job he has done in designing and organizing the web site over the past four years. That has made my job relatively easy. Dave was also kind enough to find the time in his hectic pre-holiday weeks as well as afterwards to help me get up to speed with the details of managing the site. 


I look forward to working with AARES members and office bearers to keep the web site a useful means of communication. I also look forward to receiving comments and suggestions for improvement.


International Agricultural Economics Association Conference, 2006


The 2006 Conference of the International Agricultural Economics Association will be at the Brisbane Convention Centre in August 2006.  Even though this is a long way off, planning for the conference has started.  AARES Federal Treasurer, Mal Wegener, is the interim convenor for the conference organising committee and he is in the process of contacting members to join the organising committee for this event.  While the committee will be based in Brisbane, Mal is seeking wide representation on the committee from AARES members in all states.  A number of members responded to an expression of interest included in the previous issue of News and Views and they have been approached to join the committee.


At its last meeting in Armidale on 18th September, the AARES Council decided to invite the New Zealand Agricultural Economics Society and the Asian Agricultural Economics Society each to nominate a representative to sit on the organising committee.  These invitations are currently being processed through Federal President, Ron Duncan.


One of the early tasks of the organising committee will be to select a Professional Conference Organiser for IAAE 2006 who ideally should be named before the next IAAE conference to be held in Durban, South Africa, in August 2003.  The other major task is the preparation of a formal proposal for the 2006 conference to present to the IAAE Executive which will meet during the Durban conference.

So watch this space for unfolding announcements about IAAE 2006.  It will be the 50th anniversary conference of AARES and we wish to celebrate this significant event in the life of our profession with international guests.

Important notice from Blackwell Publishing

There are problems with the renewal notices recently sent from Blackwell Publishing to all AARES members for 2003 membership subscriptions. 

Unfortunately, the rates stated are incorrect, and Blackwell Publishing would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.  Revised notices will be issued shortly with the following correct rates:


Australia and NZ


Rest of world

Ordinary members




Student members








In the meantime AARES members can return the current renewal form with payment at the correct rates.  Alternatively members can wait for the revised renewal form before making payment. Any members who have already paid at the incorrect rate will receive a refund of the difference from Blackwell Publishing shortly. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact AARES Central Office or Jennifer McDonald at Blackwell Publishing Asia on (03) 8359 1027 or jennifer.mcdonald

International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics

The Fifth International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics will take place February 12 – 15 in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.  Detailed descriptions of subject areas, forms and conference information can found at http://www.euroecolecon.org/frontiers

Australian Farming Systems Conference

The First Australian Farming Systems Conference will be held 7 – 10 September 2003 in Toowoomba, Queensland.  The Conference aims to provide a forum for exposure, dialogue and learning about Farming Systems approaches, methodologies, methods, and their application.  The purpose of the conference is to explore and challenge current thinking by sharing contemporary experiences and achievements from a diverse range of situations (including social, international, inter-disciplinary). 

Intending authors are invited to submit the titles of proposed papers together with an abstract of about 300 words outlining the aim, content and the conclusions of their papers by 8 February 2003.  For further information please contact The Conference Secretariat, Meetings and Events Department, University of Southern Queensland, PO Box 282, Darling Heights Q 4350; email stewartc; phone 07 4631 2190; fax 07 4635 5550. 

Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organisation (JAFIO)

The Berkeley Electronic Press is pleased to announce the launch of the Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization (JAFIO), a peer-reviewed electronic journal. To view the inaugural issue visit http://www.bepress.com/jafio.  Submissions can also be made from the same website by clicking the "Submit Article" link in the upper right corner.  Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization provides a unique forum empirical and theoretical research in industrial organization with emphasis on the agricultural and food industry worldwide. An important aim is to foster use of modern advances in game theory, economics of information, transaction cost economics, and bargaining theory in the analysis of agricultural and food industrial organization and policy issues.  Of particular interest are issues related to regulatory economics and competition policy, horizontal and vertical coordination, mergers and acquisitions, contracts, auctions, monopolistic competition and product differentiation, food labeling, food safety, cooperatives and strategic alliances, economics of innovation and property rights, strategic trade, market structure and environmental economics, and political economy.


Reminder: AARES-AAEA "Young" Professionals Travel Exchange Awards

AARES and the Foundation of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) will offer two travel awards again this year.  These awards are intended for agricultural and resource economists (of all ages) in the early stages of their careers, in order to provide them with an opportunity for professional and personal development and international professional and cultural exchange.  Stage of career rather than age is what defines an appropriate applicant. Each award will have a value of US$2,000 to be used to assist the winner to participate in the annual conference of either the AARES or the AAEA.  Applicants for both awards must be members of both the AARES and the AAEA.

The 2003 “Heading South” award has been awarded to Tom Marsh of Kansas State University to support his participation in the AARES 2003 annual conference to be held in Fremantle next February. 

The second award, “Heading North,” will be given to a resident of Australia or New Zealand to support their participation in the 2003 Annual Conference of the AAEA. The value of the award will be US$2,000. Award recipients will be determined based on a submitted paper, a one-page biographical statement, and a one-page statement in support of their application. They will be expected to present the paper at the AAEA conference. 

AARES and AAEA members resident in Australia or New Zealand are hereby invited to apply for the “Heading North” award, for travel to the AAEA conference to be held in Montreal, Canada from July 27-30, 2003.  Applications should include (1) a paper for presentation at the conference, representing their original and unpublished work, (2) a one-page biographical statement, and (3) a one-page statement in support of their application, indicating what they would hope to accomplish through the award, and why they would be deserving of the award.  The winner of the award will be determined by a committee, based on the submitted materials, with some emphasis on the quality of the paper.  Electronic submissions (preferably in PDF form) should be e-mailed to Garry Griffith (garry.griffith).  Applications must be received by Friday December 20, 2002, and the winner will be announced at the AARES conference in Fremantle.  Please address any questions about the application process to Garry Griffith (garry.griffith, (02) 6770 1826).

Concessional rates for emeriti

AARES Federal Council has established a membership category of “Emeritus” for retired AARES members.  The membership subscription will be the same as for student members, which is set at one-half of full members.  We feel that it is important for the Society to maintain the participation of older members and it is hoped that this move will help in doing that.


Connections: farm, food and resource issues

The Spring edition of Connections was published in late November, and features articles by John Freebairn on drought policy, Tim Cummins on future developments in water markets, Tony Fischer on world food supply and rural landscapes and Venton Cook on keeping track of changes in food processing performance. Following its pilot year, Connections has been granted a further licence to publish in 2003 by AARES and the Australian Agribusiness Association (AAA).

The editors of Connections Glenn Ronan and Bill Malcolm would like to ensure that the coverage of material that is being written, and sometimes is presented at fora, around the country, is comprehensive. Whilst they have a reasonable access to what is going on in their immediate vicinity (i.e. South Australia and Victoria), they would really like to have some co-operating co-editors in each of the other States and Territories to keep an eye out for possible Connections material. To this end, Glenn and Bill invite anyone from different parts of Australia who might be willing to act as a co-editor with them to contact them. The role is as simple as identifying potential material and alerting the editors about it - if so inclined, co-editors can also be involved in the boiling down process that converts 'a lot of material of little interest to anyone' to 'a little material of a lot of interest to everyone'. Anyway, please get in touch with Glenn Ronan (ronan.glenn)or Bill Malcolm (b.malcolm) if interested in acting as a co-editor of Connections.

View published issues of Connections at http://www.agribusiness.asn.au/Connections/index.htm


Expressions of Interest in the Position of Editor: Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics

The Co-Editors of AJARE have advised that they will not be seeking to renew their positions following the completion of their current term in June 2004.  Accordingly, expressions of interest are sought from individuals or teams interested in filling these prestigious positions.  Interested persons are advised that:

·         The normal length of term for an editorial team is three years.

·         The Editors are supported by Associate Editors and an Editorial Board.

·         The Editors work closely and collaboratively with our publisher, Blackwell.

·         Financial support for editorial assistance is available from AARES, at a level to be negotiated.

·         The Editorial Assistant also fills the role of the Central Office Manager for the Society. This involves administration, liaison, mailouts and database management.

·         One Editor becomes a member of AARES Council Executive.

Interested teams and individuals are encouraged to discuss the requirements of the position with Chris O'Donnell (Phone +61 2 6773 2815 or email codonnel) or John Mullen (Phone +61 2 6391 3608 or email john.mullen) and to prepare and submit a proposal to Council by June 2003.  Such proposals should be sent to:

Professor Ron Duncan 

National Centre for Development Studies 

Asia Pacific School of Economics and Management 

The Australian National University 

Canberra ACT 0200 

Email: ronald.duncan

A final decision will be made by Council at its meeting in September 2003.

AARES News and Views



For details of the AARES 2003 47th Annual Conference and Pre-Conference workshops, please go to http://www.agric.uwa.edu.au/ARE/AARES 


AARES News and Views



Ron Duncan 
Phone: (02) 6125 4765/3100 
Fax: (02) 6125 5448
Email: ronald.duncan

Liz Petersen
Phone: (02) 6125 4953
Fax: (02) 6125 4896
Email: Liz.Petersen

Mal Wegener 
Phone: (07) 3365 2939 
Fax: (07) 3365 9016 
Email: malcolm.wegener
Manager: Promotion and Development 

Lisa Brennan
Phone: (07) 3214 2375 
Fax: (07) 3214 2308
Email: Lisa.Brennan
Web Manager:

Atakelty Hailu

Phone: (08) 9380 2538
Fax: (08) 9380 1098
Email: atakelty.hailu

Editor: AARES News & Views

Tracy Henderson
Phone: (07) 3365 1860
Fax: (07) 3365 9016
Editors: AJARE

Chris O’Donnell
Phone: (02) 6773 2815
Fax: (02) 6773 3607

John Mullen
Phone: (02) 6391 3608
Fax: (02) 6391 3650 

Manager: AARES Central Office 

Honey Greenwood
School of Economics
Armidale NSW 2351
Phone: (02) 6773 3278
Fax: (02) 6773 3607

AARES News and Views



The deadline for submissions for the next edition of AARES News & Views is Friday March 14, 2003.  Please send items to Honey Greenwood, Manager: AARES Central Office, journal.ajare

Advertisements in AARES News & Views are welcomed.  Mailing list exceeds 700.  Prices range from $250 to $500 (including GST). Enquiries to Lisa.Brennan


Editor: Tracy Henderson, University of Queensland
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Connections: Farm, Food and Resource Issues

Copyright © Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, 2002
Last revised:January 07, 2003.
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