Dan Sumner, Director

Daniel A. Sumner is the Frank H. Buck, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis and the Director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.

Sumner teaches an innovative course on the Economics of Agricultural Sustainability and directs an extensive outreach and applied research program on public issues related to agriculture. He has published broadly in academic journals, books, and industry outlets. His research and writing has received numerous awards for research quality, quality of communication and contribution to policy. He has served as Chair of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium, a consultant for farm organizations, government agencies and companies and is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and symposia.  In 1998, he was named a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association for his career achievements.

From 1978 to 1992, he was a professor at North Carolina State University. He spent much of the period after 1986 on leave for government service in Washington, DC, where he was at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Immediately prior to moving to California in January 1993, Sumner was the Assistant Secretary for Economics at the USDA, where he contributed to policy formulation and analysis on the whole range of topics facing agriculture and rural America — from food and farm programs to trade, resources, and rural development. As supervisor of the USDA’s economics and statistics agencies, he also was also responsible for USDA data collection, outlook and economic research.

Dan was raised on a fruit farm in Suisun Valley, California where he was active in 4-H and FFA. He received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural management from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 1971, a master’s degree from Michigan State in 1973, a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1978 and did his Post-doc at RAND.

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