2024 WERA-72 Annual Meeting

June 26, 2024

Agribusiness scholars, educators, extension specialists, and industry practitioners across the U.S. and beyond gathered this June at UArizona campus to share research and network at the 2024 WERA-72 Annual Meeting, hosted by Professor Na Zuo from AREC.

WERA-72, Openning June 4, 2024.jpg

WERA-72 Opening
Dr. Na Zuo welcomes the 2024 WERA-72 participants and panelists to the first day of the annual meeting.


On June 4 and 5, Dr. Na Zuo, of the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, hosted the 2024 WERA-72 Annual Meeting on the UArizona campus. Under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Western Education and Research Activities Committee on Agribusiness (WERA-72) Coordinating Committee plays a key role in facilitating, promoting, and advancing agribusiness scholarship in the Western region by providing an educational, research and extension forum for focusing on fundamental and key issues in agribusiness. Faculty of AREC, Dr. Na Zuo, has served on the WERA-72 Executive Committee from 2021 to 2024. 

The 2024 WERA-72 Annual Meeting gathered more than twenty Agribusiness scholars, educators, extension specialists, and industry practitioners across the U.S. and beyond. Javier Badillo, the managing member of Fresh International and Chairman of the Tomato Division at the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, kicked off the meeting with the Keynote Talk on the New State of the Tomato Industry. The participants further engaged in an Industry & Academic panel discussion focusing on the challenges, opportunities, and talent gaps of agribusinesses in uncertain times. Professor and Extension Specialist, Dr. George Frisvold, gave an invited talk on Water Challenges Facing Arizona. In addition, eight papers and five posters were presented and discussed, with topics from food consumer behavior, food brand positions, diary risk management, and e-commerce stockouts, to agribusiness case studies, teaching pedagogies, and curriculum development. The meeting concluded with a local agribusiness tour, visiting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Port of Entry and a warehouse distributor in Nogales, Arizona. Participants experienced and learned firsthand about the fresh produce trade across the border in southern Arizona. 

The meeting was productive in exchanging dialogues and generating ideas among agribusiness stakeholders. WERA-72 continues bridging gaps among industry partners, policymakers, and academia. AREC continues serving agribusinesses in the state of Arizona with its rigorous research, teaching, and outreach programs. 

Check out the 2024 WERA-72 agenda to explore what the day-to-day itinerary was for this past meeting and provide an outlook on what’s to come to future annual meetings! 

WERA-72 Agribusiness Tour

USDA Ag Tour 2024

WERA-72 Poster Session

WERA-72 Poster Session

WERA-72 Panel Discussion

WERA-72, Panel Discussion