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Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics student collage

The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech is a premier, world-class department of its kind, ranked globally in the top ten percent.

Inspired by our land grant mission and motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), we teach, conduct research, and distribute findings that empower a diverse audience of students, stakeholders, and alumni to change the world. Our faculty and graduates have expertise in applied economics and agribusiness principles that help address the food, financial, health, development, policy, environmental, and social needs in Virginia and beyond. 

Students receive a world-renowned education and leave as leaders prepared to serve their communities by addressing the world's most challenging problems. 

Our mission 

Through dynamic research, all-encompassing classroom experiences, and impactful extension and outreach efforts, we solve global challenges that deal with the economics of agriculture and natural resources. 

We accomplish our mission by: 

  • Expanding boundaries of agricultural and applied economics knowledge through research that addresses societal issues and needs. 
  • Ensuring our scholarship has a real-world impact by using our expertise to inform teaching and Extension efforts. 
  • Providing instruction that inspires students to achieve new and deeper levels of understanding about the use of economic tools and concepts to address real-world policy and business problems. 
  • Developing and delivering Extension and outreach programs to help stakeholders achieve better outcomes, enjoy greater profitability, and reach a higher standard of living. 

Our taglines

  • Education with purpose 
  • Research with impact 
  • Scholarship with intent 
  • Outreach and Extension with value 

Our vision

The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics strives to be a premier program to educate and train future leaders, and to support industry, agencies, and policy-makers, through excellence in research, teaching, and Extension. By using our expertise, we address global challenges confronting food and fiber industries, rural and urban communities, and natural resource systems, and help policymakers make better, more informed decisions. 

Our core values 

  • We uphold the ideals of our land-grant mission and our motto of Ut Prosim (That I may serve).

  • We seek excellence in research, teaching, and Extension.

  • We commit ourselves to honesty, integrity, and transparency in all that we do.

  • We celebrate diversity and promote an inclusive environment that demonstrates respect for all individuals and groups.

  • We take pride in forward-thinking creativity, discovery, and innovation that encourages academic and career development for faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

  • We hold ourselves accountable to find solutions that change the world for the better.

Department snapshot

Ranked in the top 10%

AAEC is ranked in the top ten percent worldwide of Institutions and Economists in the Field of Agricultural Economics.

Award-winning Faculty

Our world-class faculty hold awards for superb teaching and research. 

100+ years in education

Founded in the early 1900s to educate Virginians in agricultural and applied economics. We've been fulfilling that mission ever since.