Mary Marchant



Ph.D., Agricultural Economics, University of California, Davis, 1989

M.A., Economics, University of California, Davis, 1982

B.Sc., Urban Planning, University of California, Davis, 1979

A.A., Chemistry, Modesto Junior College, 1974


My research program focuses on international trade--examining U.S. competitiveness, as well as the interaction of domestic policies through the international market with a focus on China. Career highlights include being awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, a 1998 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agricultural Economics in Italy, authoring four books/conference proceedings, nearly 80 journal articles and refereed publications, and receiving over $4.2 million in grants.  Recent accomplishments include coordinating a series of articles published in a China themed issue of Choices in 2017 and a trade-specific Choices special issue in 2018; serving as 2010-13 co-editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics; being awarded the 2012 “Best Paper” by the China section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) with co-authors Wei Chen, a  VT graduate, and Bryan Lohmar; and being awarded VT’s 2010 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research based on my research on China. 

Dr. Marchant leads a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary research team that includes national and international experts on Chinese agricultural policy and trade who study U.S. agricultural competitiveness in Chinese markets. Agricultural exports to China represent 20 percent of U.S. farmers’ incomes, making China the United States’ largest agricultural export market and playing a key role in the economic wellbeing of U.S. agriculture. The overall goal of Dr. Marchant’s research program is to examine and model China's agricultural trade policies and promote U.S. market access to China. Methods used to accomplish this goal include reviewing Chinese trade policy; interviewing U.S. agribusiness leaders operating in China; incorporating policy instruments into existing trade models; and innovatively disseminating results. These processes help Dr. Marchant’s team determine U.S. market access impediments and success stories, which are then used to deliver critical insights to stakeholders to enhance U.S. agricultural market access

Role of Graduate Students

Graduate students have been instrumental in my research projects over the past 25+ years in my career.  One of my goals is to work with graduate students to enhance their professional development by publishing papers in academic journals and presenting research at professional meetings.  Results include over 50 student co-authored referred publications and over 45 student co-authored presentations at professional meetings. 

Future Research

I plan to continue my research on China and am also working with colleagues within the Center fro Agricultural Trade on a new grant on barriers to trade.

Current Projects

•2017, Virginia Tech (VT)-Institute for Society, Culture & Environment (ISCE) Scholars Program, “The Impact of Diversifying China’s Global Agri-Food Suppliers on U.S. Exports” seed grant. Project Director (PD) & co-PDs M. Hejazi, J. Zhu and W. Zhang. $19,728.

•2018-20, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, National Institute of Food & Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), “Effects of Contested Regulatory Measures on U.S. and Global Agricultural Trade,” co-PD with J. Grant (PD) & co-PDs Orden & Peterson. $337,611

•2014-18, Agricultural Food Research Initiative (AFRI), USDA-NIFA, “Expanding U.S. Market Access in China’s Evolving Agricultural and Trade Policy Environment,” PD.  $492,316; 18% funding rate.

Selected Past Projects

•2011-15, Higher Education Programs, USDA-NIFA, “Food and Agricultural Education and Information System (FAEIS),” PD.  $897,000

•2008-11, Higher Education Programs, USDA-CSREES, “Improvement and Marketing of FAEIS,” PD. $785,000

•2005-10, National Research Initiative (NRI) Competitive Grants Program, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education & Extension Service (USDA-CSREES), “Agrobiotechnology in China: Competitiveness Impacts on U.S. Soybean Exports Markets.” Project Director (PD) [Only 5 of 71 proposals (7%) funded]. $302,000

• 2001-04, NRI, USDA-CSREES, “Exporting U.S. Livestock Products to China,” NRI subcontract (Principal Investigator (PI)) with North Carolina A&T ($150,000). $50,000

• 2000-05, NRI, USDA-CSREES, “Simplified Technology for Enzyme Production with Thermophilic Anaerobic Bacteria,” co-PI. $195,000

• 2001-03, USDA, “Demand Determinants for U.S. Processed Food Exports by Middle Income Countries” co-PI. Additional funds obtained from the UK VP for Research. $24,000

• 1998-01, NRI, USDA-CSREES, “Assessment of Trade and Foreign Direct Investment on U.S. Competitiveness in Asian Food Markets,” PI. $88,000

International Research

I have conducted research in China and throughout Europe.

Current Courses Taught:

  • AAEC 3024 "Monetary and Global Issues" (3 Credits)
  • AAEC 3504 "Agricultural Marketing" (3 credits)
  • AAEC 5004 “Professional Ethics and Expectations” (1 credit)
  • AAEC 6004 "Professional Communication & Engagement" (1Credit)

Previously Taught:

  • AAEC 1006 “Economics of the Food & Fiber System: Macroeconomic Principles” (3 credits)
  • AAEC 3015/3016 “Internship –Job Success” (2 credits)
  • ECON/AAEC 4135 "International Economics" (3 credits)
  • HNFE 4984 “USDA Scholars-Undergraduate Summer Research Program”
  • AAEC 6004 "Seminar course- Success in Acedemia" (1 Credit)

University of Kentucky:

  • AEC 101 “Economics of Food and Agriculture” (3 credits)
  • UK 101 “Academic Orientation” (1 credit)
  • AEC 305 "Principles of Agricultural Marketing" (3 credits)
  • AEC 399 “Experiential Learning in Agricultural Economics” (3 credits)
  • AEC 410 “International Trade and Agricultural Marketing” (3 credits)
  • AEC 624 "Advanced Quantitative Methods in Agricultural Economics" (3 credits)
  • AEC 796 "Agricultural Marketing and International Trade" (3 credits)


Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is very important to me. My philosophy is to enhance students’ academic success and professional development. For graduate students, this means working with students to publish papers in academic journals and present them at scholarly conferences (see my CV).  For undergraduates, this means incorporating classroom activities to meet the skills that employers want—communication skills and team work.  Over my 25+ year career, I have taught 16 unique courses at Virginia Tech and the University of Kentucky (UK), to over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students and also served as academic dean for the VT College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for nearly three years. 

In regards to interaction with students, I strongly believe students should be treated with respect. I strive to give fair exams, use “real life” examples, be prepared for class, and engage students with active learning activities.  Recognition of my teaching efforts include numerous national, university and college teaching and advising awards including the 2015 VT featured "Teacher of the Week," completion of the 2014-15 "Large Class Teaching Certificate Program" by VT's Center for Instructional Development and Eduational Research (CIDER), 2006-8 Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Academic Programs Section: Leadership and Service Award, 2006-2008, 2003 UK Outstanding Advisor Award, 1999 American Agricultural Economics Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award- Less than 10 year's experience, 1998 UK Alumni Association’s Great Teacher Award, based on student nominations and 1994 College of Agriculture’s Gamma Sigma Delta Master Teacher Award. 


  • 2006 - Present: Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech
  • 2015 - Present: Education Lead, CALS Center for Agricultural Trade
  • 2006 - 2008: Associate Dean and Director, Academic Programs, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • 2003 - 2006: Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky
  • 1995 - 2003: Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky
  • 1989 - 1995: Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky
  • 2002-2006: Faculty Affiliate, UK Women's Studies Program
  • 1998 Fulbright Distinguished Chair, Universita' degli Studi della Tuscia, Italy
  • 1979-1984 Research Analyst, State of California, Sacramento, CA
  • 1974-1976 Laboratory Technician, Shell Biological Science Research Center, CA


Co-editor, “U.S.–China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture" Theme Issue, Choices. 2nd Quarter 33:2(2018), 36 pages.  

Gamma Sigma Delta—The Honor Society of Agriculture. Virginia Tech chapter, Research Award of Merit, April 17, 2018.

Editor, “U.S. Commodity Markets Respond to Changes in China’s Ag Policies” Theme Issue, Choices. 2nd Quarter 32:2(2017), 27 pages.   

Lifetime Achievement Award, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, 2014. 

Best Paper. August 2012. China section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA). Recipients: Wei Chen, Bryan Lohmar and Mary A. Marchant, for the paper entitled "Impacts of Global Crude Oil Prices on China’s Vegetable Oil Prices," presented at the 2012 AAEA annual meeting, Seattle, WA.

Co-editor, Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 2010-2013.

VT Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research, 2010.

Associate Editor, Agronomy Journal, 2008-2010.

Wethington Award, 2004, 2005. [This award recognizes faculty for prestigious grants.]

Co-Editor, AgBioForum:The Journal of Agrobiotechnology Management and Economics. “Special Issue: Agricultural Biotechnology in China,” 5:4 (2002), 178 pages.

National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, appointed Panel Manager, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (USDA-CSREES), 1999-2000.

Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agricultural Economics--International Trade. The Fulbright Chairs program is the most prominent of Fulbright awards--22 Fulbright Distinguished Chairs were awarded in 1998--only one in agricultural economics.

Gamma Sigma Delta--The Honor Society of Agriculture, member since 1992; International Historian (2000-2006).

VT Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER), Featured Teacher of the Week-October, 2015, Award Ceremony April 2016:  

VT CIDER-Large Class Teaching Certificate Program, 2014-15.

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Board on Agriculture Assembly, Academic Programs Section: Leadership and Service Award, 2006-2008.

Freedman Outstanding UK Advisor Award 2003. [Award based on student nominations.]

American Agricultural Economics Association, Distinguished Teaching Award for Less than 10 Years’ Experience, 1999. [One national award presented in this category annually.

UK Great Teacher Award, 1998. [Award based on student nominations.]

Gamma Sigma Delta, Master Teacher Award, UK chapter, 1994.

VT President’s University Council, elected by CALS faculty to represent them, 2017–2020.

International Association of Agricultural Economists-Elected U.S. board member, 2006-2012.

CALS Innovative Teaching Mini-Grants for Faculty ($60,000) & subsequent poster session, Coordinator, 2008.

Leadership Development

Virginia Network of the American Council on Education Office of Women in Higher Education, Senior Leadership Series for Women Administrators 2007-2008
Leadership Fellow, Summer institute for Women in Higher Education Administration Bryn Mawr College 2005
Leadership Fellow, National Assoc. of State Universities & Land Grand Colleges 2001-02

Selected Publications (* indicates student) 

Hejazi, M.,* M.A. Marchant, J. Zhu* and X. Ning.* 2019. “The Decline of U.S. Export Competitiveness in the Chinese Meat Import Market.”  Agribusiness: An International Journal Special Issue “The Twenty-First Century Agribusiness in China.”  35(1):114-126. 

Marchant, M.A., and H.H. Wang, co-editors. 2018. "Theme Overview: U.S.–China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture." Choices. Volume 33, Quarter 2. 

Hansen, J., M.A. Marchant, W. Zhang,* and J. Grant. 2018. "Upheaval in China’s Imports of U.S. Sorghum." Choices. Volume 33, Quarter 2. 

Marchant, Mary A.Theme Overview: U.S. Commodity Markets Respond to Changes in China's Ag Policies.Choices. Quarter 2 (2017). 

Hejazi, M.* and M.A. Marchant. “China’s Evolving Agricultural Support Policies.” Choices. Quarter 2 (2017). 

Hanson, J., M.A. Marchant, F. Tuan, and A. Somwaru. “U.S. Agricultural Exports to China Increased Rapidly Making China the Number One Market.Choices. Quarter 2 (2017). 

Xie C.*, M. Marchant. "Supplying China's Growing Appetite for Poultry," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review (IFAMR). Volume 18 -- Special Issue A(2015):115-136. 

Marchant, Mary A.  “Innovative Teaching Methods:  Evolutions Spanning a 25 Year Career,” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.  46:3(Aug. 2014):327-337

Anupa Sharma,*  Mary A. Marchant,  Eric A. Vance,  Eric P. Smith, William W. Richardson and Lisa S. Hightower.* "National Survey of Study Abroad Programs Conducted in Asia Using the Food and Agriculture Education Information System (FAEIS) Database." North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Journal, 58:2(June 2014)140-147. 

Good, Deborah J., Christina M. McIntyre, and Mary A. Marchant. “The USDA Scholars Program: Innovations in a Summer Undergraduate Research Program.” NACTA Journal. 57:1 (March 2013):62-70.

Chen, Wei,*Mary A. Marchant, Andrew Muhammad. “China's Soybean Product Imports: An Analysis of Price Effects using a Production Systems Approach.” China Agricultural Economic Review. 4:4(November 2012):499-513. 

Marchant, M.A., J. Hamm,* T. Mack, J. Hunnings, W. Richardson, H. Sutphin.  “The USDA’s Food and Agricultural Education Information System:  FAEIS,” North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Journal, December 2010.  

Tuan, Francis, James Hansen, Agapi Somwaru, Mary Marchant, Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes and Funing Zhong. "Hypothetical Commercialization of Biotech Soybeans in China: Impacts on Domestic Markets and International Trade Effects," Journal of Life Sciences. 4:3(April 2010):52-60.

Reaves Dixie Watts, Roger A. Hinson and Mary A. Marchant. "Benefits and Costs of Faculty Participation in Extra and Co-curricular Activities," NACTA Journal. 54:1(March 2010):54-60. 

Song, Baohui,* Mary A. Marchant, and Michael R. Reed. “Competitive Analysis and Market Power of China's Soybean Import Market,” International Food and Agribusiness Management Review. 12:1(2009). 

Marchant, Mary A.  "Beginning Teaching at a University:  The Ultimate On-The-Job Training Program." Editor’s Selected Reprint. NACTA Journal.  51:4 (Dec. 2007):62-64.  Originally printed in the NACTA Journal.  37:1(March 1993):16-18.  

Peng, Xuehua,* Mary A. Marchant, Xiang Dong Qin, and Jun Zhuang. * “Chinese Consumers’ Preferences for Livestock Products.” International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 8:4(October 2005):62-76. 

Marchant, Mary A., and Baohui Song.* “Assessment of Biotechnology Policies and International Trade in Key Markets for U.S. Agriculture.” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics. 37:2 (August 2005):379-391 

Marchant, Mary A., and Sanjeev Kumar.* “An Overview of U.S. Foreign Direct Investment and Outsourcing.” Review of Agricultural Economics, 27:3(Fall 2005), 379-386

Zhuang, Jun,* Mary A. Marchant, Christopher L. Schardl, and Courtney Murrell Butler.*  “Economic Analysis of Replacing Endophyte-Infected with Endophyte-Free Tall Fescue Pastures.” Agronomy Journal, 97:3(May-June 2005):711-716. 

Zhang, Guilin, Michael Reed, Mary A. Marchant, and Baohui Song. *  “Chinese Agricultural Products Entering U.S. Markets After WTO Accession.” China and World Economy, 12:4(2004):66-78.

Seale, James L., Mary A. Marchant, and Alberto Basso.*  “Imports versus Domestic Production: A Demand System Analysis of the U.S. Red Wine Market.” Review of Agricultural Economics. 25:1 (Spring/Summer, 2003):187-202. 

Marchant, Mary A., Cheng Fang, and Baohui Song.*  “Issues on Adoption, Import Regulations, and Policies for Biotech Commodities in China with a Focus on Soybeans.” AgBioForum. 5:4(2002):167-174. 

Zhong, Funing, Mary A. Marchant, Yulian Ding, and Kaiyu Lu. “GM Foods: A Nanjing Case Study of Chinese Consumers’ Awareness and Potential Attitudes.” AgBioForum. 5:4(2002):136-44. 

Marchant, Mary A., Dyana N. Cornell, * and Won Koo. “International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics. 34:2(2002):289-302. 

Saghaian, Sayed H., Michael R. Reed, and Mary A. Marchant. “Monetary Impacts and Overshooting of Agricultural Prices in an Open Economy.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics (AJAE). 84:1(2002):90-103. 

Marchant, Mary A., and Francis Tuan, guest editors, AgBioForum: The Journal of Agrobiotechnology Management and Economics. “Special Issue: Agricultural Biotechnology in China,” 2002 (178 pages). 

Zepeda, Lydia, and Mary A. Marchant. “Bigger, Smaller, Richer, Poorer: Trends in Agricultural Economics.” Review of Agricultural Economics. 20:2(1998):406-21. 

University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture. Diversity Task Force Report, Mary A. Marchant, Chair. Diversity Issues in the College of Agriculture, April 2003. (83 pages).

Mary Marchant
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    303A Hutcheson Hall
    Blacksburg, VA 24061