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Mary Marchant

Mary Marchant
250 Drillfield Dr.
303A Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Mary Marchant's research program focuses on U.S.-China agricultural trade. In response to the escalating trade dispute, she has been interviewed and cited by Fox News, CBS Money Report, the Washington Post, WDBJ local news, and numerous agricultural media. Most recently, co-editors Mary Marchant and Holly Wang were awarded 2019 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Quality of Communication Award for their “U.S.-China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture” 2018 Choices theme issue. This publication continues to have an impact with over 10,000 web hits as of September 20, 2019.

Additional career highlights for her research and teaching efforts include:

  • Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agricultural Economics (Italy). 
  • Agriculture and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Teaching Award.
  • Best Paper. China section of AAEA
  • Advisor to AAEA-undergraduate academic bowl winning teams.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA).
  • Co-editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  • Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Board on Agriculture, Academic Programs Section: Leadership and Service Award.
  • Gamma Sigma Delta-The Honor Society of Agriculture-VT chapter, Research Award.
  • VT Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, Featured Teacher Award
  • VT Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research.
  • University of Kentucky Freedman Outstanding Advisor Award.
  • University of Kentucky Alumni Association’s Great Teacher Award.
  • Appointed USDA “Markets & Trade” Panel Manager, National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program. 

Marchant has authored nearly 80 articles in over 20 different refereed journals and refereed publications, one sole-authored book, seven edited journal volumes and conference proceedings; and has built a research/teaching program funded by more than $5.65 million in grants and external funding.

Expertise:

Education:

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

Throughout her career, Marchant has led 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 represent 20 percent of U.S. farmers’ incomes and China plays a key role. Prior to the trade war, China was the United States’ largest agricultural export market in four of the last six years since 2012; thus impacting 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 disseminating results. These processes help 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

As highlighted in the “Intro” tab, her research has been recognized through awards at various levels.  Her Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agricultural Economics is the most prestigious of Fulbright awards where applicants are reviewed by both domestic and international panels.  An additional honor related to research includes being appointed panel manager for the USDA, National Research Initiative (NRI) Competitive Grants Program–“Markets and Trade” Peer Review Panel by the USDA-NRI Chief Scientist. This program has historically been a primary source of competitive funds for agricultural economists.

Role of Graduate Students

Graduate students have been instrumental in my research projects over the past 30+ years of 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.  I have worked with over 70 graduate student co-authors and produced the following results: over 40 peer-reviewed publications including 25+ journal articles and 60+ presentations at professional meetings—international, national and regional, e.g., the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

Future Research

I plan to continue my research on China and am also working with colleagues within the Center for Agricultural Trade on a variety of trade topics that seek to enhance U.S. competitiveness in a global marketplace.

Recent Projects

  • 2021-22, Funded by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS), "Non-Tariff Measures and Agricultural Trade: Developing a Framework for Analysis," Principal Investigator (PI): Jason Grant; Co-PIs: Charlotte Emlinger, Mary Marchant, and John Beghin. $200,000
  • 2021-22, Funded by USDA-OCE, "Competitive FTA Scenarios, "Natural" Trading Levels, and the Role of Trade in Climate Change and Environmental Shocks," PI: J.H. Grant, Co-PIs: Alla Golub, Charlotte Emlinger, Mary Marchant, George Davis, and Ford Ramsey, $300,000.
  • 2020-22, Funded by USDA Office of the Chief Economist (USDA-OCE), “Expanding the Linked Global-Spatial Crop-Livestock Model to Include Dairy and a Prototype Fresh Fruit, Vegetable and Tree Nut Model” by the VT Center for Agricultural Trade: PI: Jason Grant; Co-PIs: Xin Ning, Mary Marchant, Charlotte Emlinger, and David Orden. $350,000. 
  • 2018-21, Funded by 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,” Project Director (PD) J. Grant, co-PDs D. Orden, M. Marchant, and E. Peterson. $337,611.
  • 2019-20, Funded by USDA-OCE, "Developing a Linked Global-Spatial Crop and Livestock Simulation Model and International Trade Elasticity Estimation" by the Virginia Tech Center for Agricultural Trade: PI J. Grant, co-PIs  M. Marchant, C. Emlinger and E. Peterson. $475,000.
  • 2018-19, Funded by USDA, OCE, "Ranking the Top U.S. and Global Agri-Food Trade Shocks: A Panel Data Econometric Assessment" by the VT Center for Agricultural Trade: PI J. Grant, co-PIs C. Emlinger and M. Marchant. $150,000.
  • 2014-18, Funded by AFRI, USDA-NIFA, “Expanding U.S. Market Access in China’s Evolving Agricultural and Trade Policy Environment,” PD M. Marchant, co-PDs J. Hansen and F. Tuan.  $492,316.; 18 percent funding rate.
  • 2016-17, Funded by Virginia Tech (VT)-Institute for Society, Culture and Environment (ISCE) Scholars Program, “The Impact of Diversifying China’s Global Agri-Food Suppliers on U.S. Exports” seed grant. PD M. Marchant with former students as co-PDs M. Hejazi, J. Zhu and W. Zhang. $19,728

Selected Past Projects

  • 2006-14, Funded by Higher Education Programs, USDA-NIFA, “Food and Agricultural Education and Information System (FAEIS),” PD M. Marchant, co-PDs E. Smith, E. Vance, T. Mack, H. Dean Sutphin.  $2,188,258.
  • 2005-10, Funded by 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.” PD M. Marchant, co-PDs J. Hansen and F. Tuan. [Only 5 of 71 proposals (7 percent) funded]. $302,000.
  • 2001-04, Funded by NRI, USDA-CSREES, “Exporting U.S. Livestock Products to China,” NRI subcontract PI Marchant with North Carolina A&T ($150,000). $50,000.
  • 2000-05, Funded by NRI, USDA-CSREES, “Simplified Technology for Enzyme Production with Thermophilic Anaerobic Bacteria,” PI S. Nokes, co-PIs H. Strobel and M. Marchant. $195,000.
  • 2001-03, Funded by USDA-Economic Research Service (ERS) and University of Kentucky VP for Research. “Demand Determinants for U.S. Processed Food Exports by Middle Income Countries” cooperative agreement, PI M. Reed, co-PI M. Marchant. $24,000.
  • 1998-01, Funded by NRI, USDA-CSREES, “Assessment of Trade and Foreign Direct Investment on U.S. Competitiveness in Asian Food Markets,” PI. $88,000.

International Research

Marchant is a recognized expert on China has conducted research in this area for over 20 years.  China research results include four highly competitive USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) & National Research Initiative (NRI) grants totaling nearly $1 million; editor of three volumes on China--two in Choices culminating in one receiving the 2019 AAEA Quality of Communication Award and one in AgBioForum; author of over 23 journal articles/refereed publications on China; and (co-)presenter as part of our China research team of 36 national and international presentations including at the 2018 Chinese Agricultural Outlook conference in Beijing, as well as presentations at Nanjing Agricultural University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and in Wuhan in addition to presentations on China at the triennial meetings of the International Association of Agricultural Economists—Vancouver, Milan, Australia—and at the International Association of Trade Research Consortium—Washington, DC and Beijing, China.

Current Courses Taught:

  • AAEC 3504 "Marketing Agricultural Products" (3 credits)

Previously Taught:

  • AAEC 1006 “Economics of the Food and Fiber System: Macroeconomic Principles” (3 credits)
  • AAEC 3015/3016 “Internship –Job Success” (2 credits)
  • AAEC 3024 "Monetary and Global Issues" (3 Credits)
  • ECON/AAEC 4135 "International Economics" (3 credits)
  • HNFE 4984 “USDA Scholars-Undergraduate Summer Research Program”
  • AAEC 5004 “Professional Ethics and Expectations” (1 credit)
  • AAEC 6004 "Professional Communication and Engagement" (1 Credit)
  • AAEC 6004 "Seminar course- Success in Academia" (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 and my teaching philosophy is to enhance students’ academic success and professional development. For graduate students, this means working with students to publish research in academic journals and present results at scholarly conferences (see Research tab-Role of Graduate Students and CV).  For undergraduates, this means incorporating classroom activities to meet the skills that employers want—good communication and team work.  Over my 30+ year career, I have taught 16 unique courses at Virginia Tech and the University of Kentucky (UK), to over 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students and also served as associate dean and director of academic programs for the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

In regards to the scholarship of teaching and learning, results include eight journal articles related to teaching, 10 papers in peer-reviewed conference proceedings and one co-editorship of a teaching conference proceeding. 

Additional results include being awarded over $2.6 in external funding, a majority as principal investigator for nearly a decade of a nationwide higher education database, the Food and Agricultural Education System, which tracks student and faculty enrollment, degrees awarded and placements by gender, race, and major in agriculture and related sciences.  Teaching effort recognition spans numerous national, university and college teaching and advising awards including:

  • Virginia Tech Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (VT-CIDER), Featured Teacher, 2015; award ceremony 2016.
  • VT-CIDER, completion of year-long Large Class Teaching Certificate program, 2014-2015.
  • Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Board on Agriculture, Academic Programs Section: Leadership and Service Award, 2006-08 (national award).
  • University of Kentucky (UK) Freedman Outstanding Advisor Award, 2003 (university award based on student nominations).
  • Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA)-Distinguished Teaching Award-Less than 10 Years' Experience, 1999. 
  • UK Great Teacher Award, 1998 (university award based on student nominations).
  • Advisor to AAEA-undergraduate academic bowl winning teams, 1996 and 1997.
  • Gamma Sigma Delta, Master Teacher College Award, UK chapter, 1994.
  • Co-organizer of two national teaching conferences: “Developing a Learning Environment Where All Students Seek to Excel” AAEA pre-conference Chicago, 2001. [Conference sponsored and funded by the AAEA] and "New Technologies and Innovations in Agricultural Economics Instruction" conference endorsed by the AAEA and co-sponsored by the SAEA, Lexington, KY. 1992.
  • As VT-CALS Associate Dean of Academic Programs, promoted the scholarship of teaching and learning by sponsoring College teaching mini-grants ($60,000), hosted innovative teaching workshops and provided additional financial support for faculty to develop national teaching grant proposals.

Experience

  • 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

Awards/Honors

Research

  • Co-editor (with J. Balagtas and J. Cooper), Quarter 3, 2021. “Agricultural Market Response to COVID-19" Theme Issue, Choices.
  • 2021 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Outstanding Choices Article: "The 2018-2019 Trade Conflict: A One-Year Assessment and Impacts on U.S. Agricultural Exports" by J. Grant, S. Arita, C. Emlinger, S. Sydow and Mary A. Marchant. Choices. Quarter 4, 2019.
  • 2019 AAEA Quality of Communication Award as co-editor (with H. Wang), “U.S.–China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture" Theme Issue, Choices. Quarter 2, 2018. 
  • Gamma Sigma Delta—The Honor Society of Agriculture. Virginia Tech chapter, Research Award of Merit, April 17, 2018.
  • Editor, Quarter 2, 2017. “U.S. Commodity Markets Respond to Changes in China’s Ag Policies” Theme Issue, Choices. 
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, 2014. 
  • Best Paper. China section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Recipients: Virginia Tech graduate Wei Chen, Bryan Lohmar and Mary A. Marchant, presented at the 2012 AAEA annual meeting, Seattle, WA. August 2012.
  • Co-editor (with D. Bosch), Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 2010-2013.
  • Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research, 2010 [university award].
  • Associate Editor, Agronomy Journal, 2008-2010.
  • Wethington Award, 2004, 2005. [This award recognizes faculty for prestigious grants.]
  • Co-Editor (with F. Tuan), 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).

Instruction
Virginia Tech-Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (VT-CIDER), Featured Teacher, 2015.

VT-CIDER, completion of year-long Large Class Teaching Certificate program, 2014-2015.

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

University of Kentucky Freedman Outstanding Advisor Award 2003. [University 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].

University of Kentucky (UK) Great Teacher Award, 1998. [University award based on student nominations.]

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

Leadership

  • 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.
  • As VT-CALS Associate Dean of Academic Programs, promoted the scholarship of teaching and learning by sponsoring College teaching mini-grants ($60,000), hosted innovative teaching workshops and provided additional financial support for faculty to develop national teaching grant proposals.

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 Association of State Universities and Land Grand Colleges, 2001-02.

Selected Publications (* indicates current or former student)

Book and Edited Volumes/Conference Proceedings

Balagtas, Joseph V., Joseph Cooper, and Mary A. Marchant, editors, Quarter 3, 2021. “Agricultural Market Response to COVID-19" Theme Issue, Choices. Available online 

Marchant, Mary A., and H. Holly Wang, editors, Quarter 2, 2018. "U.S.–China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture" Theme Issue, Choices. 2019 AAEA Quality of Communication Award. Available online 

Marchant, Mary A., editor. Quarter 2, 2017. “U.S. Commodity Markets Respond to Changes in China's Ag Policies” Theme Issue, Choices. Available online 

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).

Marchant, Mary A. and Francis Tuan, guest editors. 2002. Special Issue: “Agricultural Biotechnology in China,” AgBioForum: The Journal of Agrobiotechnology Management and Economics. Volume 5:Number 4 (178 pages).

Marchant, Mary A., editor. Trade and the Environment conference proceedings. San Antonio, TX.: American Agricultural Economics Association post-conference, 1996 (195 pages).

Marchant, Mary A. and Handy Williamson, Jr., editors. Achieving Diversity: The Status and Progress of Women and African Americans in the Agricultural Economics Profession. New York City (NYC), NY: Garland Publishing, Industrial Productivity series, 1994 (218 pages).

[Also, co-author of five chapters in this book.]

Marchant, Mary A. Political Economic Analysis of U.S. Dairy Policies and European Community Dairy Policy Comparisons. NYC, NY: Garland Publishing Inc., Government and Economy series, 1993 (260 pages). [Invited by Garland Publishing to publish this book.]

Debertin, David L., Mary A. Marchant, and Stephan J. Goetz, editors. New Technologies and Innovations in Agricultural Economics Instruction conference proceedings. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, Department of Agricultural Economics, 1992 (149 pages). [Also, author of “Innovative Teaching Methods: Discoveries by an Assistant Professor,” pgs 86-95.]

Young, Linda, Mary A. Marchant, and Alex McCalla. The Political Economy of Agricultural Trade: A Review of the Literature on Domestic Policy Behavior and International Price Formation. Washington, D.C.: USDA-ERS #AGES9103, 1991 (73 pages). 

Selected Journal Articles

Balagtas, J.V., J. Cooper, and M.A. Marchant. Quarter 3, 2021. "Theme Overview: Agricultural Market Response to COVID-19" Choices. Available online

Grant, J., S. Arita, C. Emlinger, S. Sydow and M.A. Marchant. Quarter 4, 2019. “The 2018-2019 Trade Conflict: A One-Year Assessment and Impacts on U.S. Agricultural Exports.” Choices. 2021 AAEA Outstanding Choices article. Available online

Zhang, W.* and M.A. Marchant. 2019. "U.S.-China Sorghum Trade Analysis Within the Trade Conflict: Growth, Trends, and Forecast." Journal of Management Policy and Practice. 20(5):80-100.

Song, B.* and M.A. Marchant. 2019. "Enhancing Student Learning Using an International Trade Simulation Project." North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Journal- Special Issue "Engaging Students in Global Agriculture." 63(1a):94-98. Available online

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.  https://doi.org/10.1002/agr.21588

Marchant, M.A., and H.H. Wang, co-editors. Quarter 2, 2018. "Theme Overview: U.S.–China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture." Choices. Available online: http://www.choicesmagazine.org/choices-magazine/theme-articles/us-china-trade-dispute-and-potential-impacts-to-agriculture/theme-overview-uschina-trade-dispute-and-potential-impacts-on-agriculture

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

Marchant, M.A., editor. Quarter 2, 2017. “Theme Overview: U.S. Commodity Markets Respond to Changes in China's Ag Policies.” Choices. Available online 

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

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