UT Institute of Agriculture Selects Blasingame Chair of Excellence

Feb 01, 2018 at 07:15 am by bryan

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture welcomes Andrew Muhammad as the recently named Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural, Food, and Natural Resource Policy.

Muhammad brings considerable experience and research to the Blasingame Chair position where his focus will be assisting the state and nation's agricultural decision makers in the evaluation of potential policies and programs dealing with agricultural commodities, food and nutrition, natural resources and international trade, as well as advocating for state and regional agricultural opportunities.

"My vision for the Blasingame Chair of Excellence is to establish an infrastructure and program focused on research and outreach activities that address the global needs of the agricultural sector in Tennessee and Southeast region," said Muhammad. "The overall aim would be to inform decision making by farmers, agribusinesses and policy makers on international trade and trade policy issues and attract resources to improve the competitive position of state and regional agriculture in global markets."

Previously serving as the associate director of the Market and Trade Economics Division and the chief of the International Demand and Trade Branch at the USDA Economic Research Service, Muhammad has developed a large network of trade policy experts and forged solid working relationships with decision makers in the public and private sectors. "I plan to leverage the resources of the Blasingame Chair of Excellence with this broad network in support of my vision," he said.

His research on global food demand has been widely cited and used in economic and global models such as USDA's baseline model, the GTAP model and IFPRI's IMPACT model. Muhammad's current research focuses on agricultural trade and trade policy, effects of trade on developing countries and global food demand.

Muhammad has written 49 refereed journal articles and approximately 30 reports and other publications and has served as the principal investigator or co-PI on funded research and outreach activities totaling $2.7 million. His accolades include the professional contribution award from the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

Earning his doctorate in food and resource economics from the University of Florida, Muhammad's dissertation on the derived demand for imported dairy products in selected international markets garnered two outstanding Ph.D. dissertation awards--one from the Food and Resource Economics Department and one from the Food Distribution Research Society. He also holds a master's of science in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri and a bachelor's in agribusiness from Southern University. He has traveled the globe as an invited speaker, as well as presenting to regional and national audiences.

"Agriculture and food policy is increasingly important to Tennessee's communities as we compete in global markets, address the grand challenge of feeding a growing population and work to improve health through food and nutrition," said UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross. "We're very pleased to welcome Dr. Muhammad to the UT Institute of Agriculture, and we know his background and experience will provide many benefits as we consider policies to grow agriculture and manage our natural resources wisely for years to come."

The Blasingame Chair of Excellence was made possible by Bernard and Margaret Blasingame who established the endowment in 1989 to UTIA's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics with the mission of providing research, education, leadership and outreach in the areas of agricultural, food, resource and international trade policy.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery and service. ag.tennessee.edu

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