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Richard Crowder

Professor and Thornhill Endowed Chair in Agricultural Trade
Richard Crowder
305 Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061



Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

M.S. Agricultural Economics, Virginia Tech University

B.S. Agricultural Economics, Virginia Tech University

Stanford Executive Program, Stanford University


I hold the Thornhill Professorship for teaching and outreach to public policy, academic and commercial organizations involved in trade policy and trade transactions. Research is a relatively small part of the professional effort of the position. The research that is done is focused on efficient trade flows and patterns, on the formulation and implementation of trade policy and on commercial opportunities. Research by the position is leveraged with research and input from other members in the department, other public research and input from commercial entities.


  • Professor, Virginia Tech 2008-Present
  • Chief Agriculture Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative 2006-2008
  • President & Chief Executive Officer, American Seed Trade Association 2002-2006
  • Independent Consultant, 2000-2002
  • Senior Vice President International, DEKALB Genetics Corp. 1994-1999
  • Executive Vice President and General Manager International, Armour Swift Eckrich, 1992-1994  
  • Under Secretary International Affairs and Commodity Programs, United States Department of Agriculture, 1989-1992
  • Senior Vice President Corporate Risk Officer, The Pillsbury Company 1987-1989
  • Senior Vice President Strategic Planning, The Pillsbury Company 1983-1987
  • Vice President Corporate Economist, The Pillsbury Company 1975-1983
  • Director Economics Analysis and Operations Research, Wilson & Company, INC 1968-1975
  • Staff Economist, EXXON USA 1966-1968


Distinguished Service Award, American Farm Bureau Federation, 2013

Graduate Alumni Achievement Award, Virginia Tech, 2010

Hall of Fame, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 2007

Virginia Tech Alumnus of Millennium, 2001

Distinguished Service Award, Executive Office of the President of the United States