John Crespi has been named director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University.
Crespi, a professor of economics, joined the faculty of Iowa State in 2015 and has served as the interim director of CARD since September 2018.
“I see this as an opportunity to be surrounded by research that I’m interested in,” he said. “CARD is a fantastic research center with some of the smartest people working in food, agricultural, and environmental policy, combined with a really gifted staff. I can see why the work people do here has always had an impact on policy.”
Crespi’s past research focused on food marketing and business competitiveness. Some of his recent work at CARD examines the long-run impacts of the 2003 bovine spongiform encephalopathy outbreak in the United States and the vertical coordination of livestock markets. He is also one of the authors of “The Impact of the 2018 Trade Disruptions on the Iowa Economy,” an award-winning research paper that was the first to quantify the effects of the US-China trade war on Iowa’s economy.
Crespi said it’s difficult to guess what research challenges CARD will face in the future, but he has faith that its innovative, creative researchers will be up to the challenges ahead.
“CARD has a mission to conduct innovative research on local, regional, and global agricultural issues. That won’t change. Five years ago we weren’t expecting a trade war, but it happened, and CARD responded with some excellent research. Climate change is bringing challenges to agriculture; water policy will continue to need good, independent research; and knowing how farm policies translate into things like crop insurance, land values and SNAP benefits are issues that CARD has always examined, and we will continue to do that. You never know what issues you will get called about tomorrow.”
Crespi has bachelor’s degrees in English and economics from California State University, Sacramento; a master’s degree in economics from Colorado State University; and a doctorate in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Davis. Prior to joining Iowa State, he was a professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University.
For over 60 years, the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University has conducted innovative public policy and economic research on local, regional, and global agricultural issues, combining academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.