Agricultural Economics Adjunct Faculty


Sarahelen Thompson

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  • Adjunct Professor
  • Director of the Market and Trade Economics Division, Economic Research Service, USDA



Curriculum Vitae

Sally Thompson received B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota, and the Ph.D. from the Food Research Institute, Stanford University in 1984. She began her academic career at the University of Illinois in 1984 as an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1990 and Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics in 1996. Between 1992 and August 1997 she was Interim Assistant Director of the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station. Dr. Thompson spent the 2002 academic year at the University of Florida investigating market models for e-commerce in agriculture.

Dr. Thompson's teaching and research interests relate to agricultural and food marketing; the economic performance of futures markets; the effect of information technologies on agricultural and food markets; and agricultural economic history. She has taught undergraduate, graduate and extramural courses in agricultural and food marketing.

Dr. Thompson led several information technology initiatives at the University of Illinois including the StratSoy project and the Strategic Research Initiative in Information Systems and Technology. She has received the Illinois Soybean Association’s Friend of Agriculture Award and the Paul A Funk Recognition Award. From 1998-2001 she was co-editor of the Review of Agricultural Economics. As chair of the Food and Agricultural Marketing Consortium, she initiated the effort for the Consortium to become the Food and Agricultural Marketing Policy Section of the AAEA.

She joined Purdue University as Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics July 1, 2002 and left Purdue in September 2008 to join the USDA’s Economic Research Service as Director of the Market and Trade Economics Division.  She has served as a member of the board of directors of the American Agricultural Economics Association and the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, and currently serves as a board member of the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics. She received the Violet Haas Award for “outstanding efforts on behalf of women” from the Council on the Status of Women at Purdue University in 2007 and the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota in 2008.

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