AREC Undergrads Attend AG Forum 2023

March 28, 2023

Five undergrad students, from both Environmental & Water Resource Economics (EWRE) and Agribusiness Economics & Management (ABEM) degree programs in AREC, traveled to Phoenix, AZ on March 3rd, 2023 for the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) 27th Annual AG Forum. The students spent a day attending discussions and presentations about certain trends in agriculture and real estate in Arizona, water supply, state and regional economic outlook, and much more. AREC extends its gratitude to Barry Weissenborn and the ASFMRA group for their generous support in funding the five students’ registration fees for the forum. Also, a big thanks to the AREC dept., for covering the five selected students’ travel costs to this forum. Read here about the students’ personal experiences at the forum and what sparked their interest in future endeavors. 

Samantha Wetherell, EWRE 

“As an honors student interested in pursuing economic research, I was so excited to have this opportunity to attend the 27th Annual Agriculture Forum. Being there, I was able to learn more in-depth about the current states of agriculture, real estate, and water beyond what I had read in the classroom. This was especially insightful to me due to my interest in water resource economics. With the many projects I have done and the many articles I have read, I thought I was as well-informed as I could be on the topic. Yet, I had not even known about the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority or the upcoming statewide water basin survey until I attended this conference! Attending this conference has thus not only helped me get a better picture of these topics but also strengthened my honors thesis idea and my passion for resource economics.” 

Thomas Collins, ABEM 

“Attending the ASFMRA Ag forum has been a truly insightful experience. Being able to network with appraisers around Arizona. This has led me to decide that appraising is an attractive career to look into! I know now what an appraiser does and the time it will take. Being able to have this experience has expanded my knowledge about Arizona leaders and future outlooks for the agricultural and associated industries.” 

Rodolfo Elias, ABEM 

“Attending the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers was a great opportunity that the AREC department offered us. I was able to learn new trends that are currently happening in different agricultural sectors from housing projects to the way we market milk in grocery stores and can be a factor why real milk is declining sales. We also learned about current and forecasted problems in the industry and how we need to address them in order to satisfy customers' wants and needs. New generations need to evolve with technology and changing market trends in order to stay in business but at the same time preserving farmers' traditions. We as students were able to meet and talk with professionals, some of them previous classmates that are now in the industry and may be our future employers.”  

Roberta Gracia, EWRE 

“Being a part of the AG Forum conference meant a lot to me. I was able to meet new people and build a stronger network. It showed me that you can achieve what you want in life no matter what. Seeing all these people with that much experience helped me understand that being a part of their network and building connections with them is not as hard as I might have thought. I was able to see different perspectives from different people in different areas of the agricultural spectrum. It was a great experience that helped me broaden my perspective on conferences and what they aim at. I was also able to reconnect with some old friends that are now a part of teams that make up the conference. Talking to them helped me understand that I can begin building a network with their advice and the knowledge that they have gotten from their experience.”  

Logan Ortega, ABEM 

“I learned a lot from the AG forum, but what I really took a great understanding to was the people from land advising and farm and ranching loans. As they are bankers that work in the agriculture business to make sure farming and ranching continues. I also liked the Cattle Growers Association part of it; as for me, I was very familiar [since] my family [is] a part of that organization and it was good hearing good news for ranchers. With new improvements in technology and grazing reports.”