Pests, Germs and Seeds:  
The Economics of Policies, Programs, and Technologies for Managing Agricultural Pests and Diseases

Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29 2014

University of California, Davis, California 95616

        scroll down for photos

Agricultural economists, other agricultural scientists, and pest management professionals gathered at the Robert Mondavi Institute on March 28 and 29 for the annual conference of the NC-1034 multi-state research project on impact analyses and decision strategies for agricultural research. The title of this year’s conference was Pests, Germs and Seeds: The Economics of Policies, Programs and Technologies for Managing Agricultural Pests and Diseases

The 54 participants, who traveled to Davis from all around the United States and beyond. were welcomed to UC Davis by Helene Dillard, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis.  The program included a total of 28 presentations about research related to the theme of the conference, across a wide range of specific topics

Conference participants were also treated to presentations by three featured speakers Dr. Pam Marrone, Founder and CEO of Davis-based Marrone Bio Innovations gave an overview of biological pesticides and the work being done by her company and others to advance pesticide research and develop alternatives and complements to chemical pesticides. Dr. Alan Olmstead, Distinguished Research Professor emeritus in the Department of Economics at UC Davis spoke about the pioneering work of the US Bureau of Animal Industry to conduct research and develop programs to combat the spread of deadly livestock diseases, laying the foundations for future advancements in (both human and animal) disease prevention and health in the United States. In addition, participants enjoyed an evening presentation by Dr. Alison L. Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension Specialist in Animal Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. Dr. Van Eenennaam gave an entertaining talk outlining the reasons why academics should communicate about their work outside the academic community and how they might go about doing it, highlighting humor, sincerity, and sex as key elements. Needless to say, this presentation sparked lively discussion among the conference participants.

The conference was both productive and enjoyable for all involved. The conference organizers are grateful for financial and in-kind support from the Robert Mondavi Institute, the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics, the University of California Agricultural Issues Center and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

We thank the Giannini Foundation for providing support to defray some of the costs of the conference.