Jacobs takes on new role in cooperatives
Keri Jacobs, assistant professor with the Department of Economics, will fill a research and extension position focused on the economics of cooperatives and working with Iowa cooperatives to address emerging issues Jacobs joined the ISU faculty in 2010 with interests in economics related to agricultural business, land-use decisions and agricultural policy.
The Iowa Institute for Cooperatives, which represents 150 cooperatives in the state, has expressed its commitment to support Jacobs’ research and extension program. The nonprofit association currently is undertaking a fundraising project with a goal of $1 million. Jacobs will begin serving in the position on August 15.
“This is one of the most exciting periods in history for Iowa agriculture,” said David Holm, executive director for the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives. “Cooperatives play a significant role in Iowa agriculture and we enthusiastically look forward to working with Dr. Jacobs to address our members’ needs today and in the future.”
The cooperatives economist position is similar to one held for 31 years by Roger Ginder, an ISU professor of economics who retired in 2010. Ginder was a nationally recognized expert in cooperative financial and strategic management.
In her new position, Jacobs will develop research and extension activities on the economics of cooperatives and related organizations, with an emphasis on the agribusiness sector. Areas of activity may include the role of cooperatives in the evolving industrial organization of agricultural markets; vertical integration; innovation and product development; contracting; ownership, control rights and governance structures; organizational strategies; finance and the equity structure of cooperative firms; regulation and taxation of cooperative entities; and risk and risk-sharing in commodity markets.
"It is wonderful to have the opportunity to work on the important issues facing cooperatives and thus the producers in our state," said Jacobs. "Cooperatives play an integral role in our economy and I am looking so forward to engaging with them in a way that supports and contributes to their continued success."
Jacobs’ extension and outreach plans include professional development opportunities for cooperative members, boards of directors and other cooperative leaders. She also will teach an undergraduate course in cooperative economics.
Since joining Iowa State, Jacobs has worked on research related to conservation, bioenergy production and distribution, environmental and feed availability concerns for pork producers and other areas. She has taught courses in agricultural finance, farm business management and applied economic optimization.
Jacobs, a native of Monticello, Iowa, earned a doctorate in economics from North Carolina State University and bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from Coe College.