3rd Quarter 2004

A Statement from the New Editors

Welcome to the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) outreach vehicle, Choices, with its new format and editorial team. (For the full team listing please see our Editorial Team page.) We began our editorial term in August 2004, and this is our inaugural issue of Choices. We would like to discuss two items with you. The first involves content, and the second involves how you can help achieve the Choices mission.

Content and Format

Choices is intended to be a communication vehicle through which the AAEA can present the practical consequences and policy implications of economic work to a broad audience. Satisfaction of that mission requires in-depth, coordinated treatment of current issues. We intend to meet this requirement by having this and future issues focus on several types of content. In particular, issues of Choices will contain:

  • Coordinated groupings of manuscripts covering contemporary concerns arising under at least two of four themes: (1) Agriculture and Trade, (2) Resources and the Environment, (3) Consumers and Markets, and (4) Agribusiness and Finance. Over the course of a year, each theme will appear two or three times. In this issue, the Resources and Environment theme is covered by a series of articles on climate change, coordinated by guest editor Brent Sohngen, and the Consumers and Markets theme is covered by a series of articles on obesity, coordinated by guest editor Maria Loureiro. The next issue of Choices will have several articles focusing on upcoming farm policy deliberations in addition to articles on country of origin labeling.
  • Selected nonthematic submitted contributions relative to current issues, which we call our Grab Bag section. The current issue contains an article on PL480. In the future, we hope to have more in this section of Choices.
  • A regular Washington Scene column written by economists and other professionals immersed in Washington policy circles focusing on legislative and agency developments that may influence the future.
  • A brief coming attractions section.

We Need Your Help

We, and more generally the AAEA, need help from both agricultural economists and the broader community with interests in agriculture. Your help is solicited in two principal areas: (1) helping assure we have contemporary, high-quality content and (2) helping disseminate Choices to reach a broader outreach audience.

In terms of content, we hope that the profession will supply us with outreach materials. We think Choices is a valuable place to put economic work as manifest by a web page that in a year and a half was subject to almost a half a million visits. We are interested in receiving:

  • Proposals for coordinated groupings of papers that we should include in future issues, whether this is a detailed proposal or just a suggestion of issues we should try to build a thematic treatment around. In this and the next issue or two, we play a heavy role in developing content including doing some of the writing. We intend to have a less active role as time progresses and submissions rise.
  • Contributions of individual papers for the Grab Bag section.
  • Timely reviews from those we ask to review papers. We wish Choices to be regarded as a high-quality, peer-reviewed outlet for economic work that contains timely content targeted to outreach audiences.
More information for potential contributors is contained on the Choices Submissions page.

In terms of dissemination and outreach partners, the AAEA and we would like your help in widening the distribution audience reached by Choices. We have more information about this in the Outreach Partners section of the Choices website. You can help us in any of several ways:

  • Identify organizations and contact people that we can invite to be partners in disseminating announcements of Choices issues on a routine basis or when a particular theme is addressed. Email your suggestions to us at choices@ag.tamu.edu. We think professional groups, business organizations, agencies, NGOs, extension coordinators, and many others may be in a position to be one of our Outreach Partners.
  • Email announcements or copies of papers to non-AAEA members that you think would be interested in the current issue.
  • Encourage people to subscribe for free access to future Choices issues through our online subscriptions feature.
  • Use Choices articles as input to your classes and outreach programs.
Thanks in advance for your contributions to these areas of need. Your work will help achieve the general AAEA goals and enhance the impact of economic work.

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