Chief economist says goodbye

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For over 30 years, USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins weathered the storms of both sides of the political aisle bringing straight-forward and honest assessments of U.S. farm policy. Collins officially resigned from the top USDA economist post Jan. 3 and Deputy Chief Economist Joseph Glauber has been named the acting chief economist.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss said throughout Collins' career, "he has made countless contributions that have made a positive impact on American agriculture and rightly earned him the reputation as one of the most respected and objective voices in agriculture policy today." 

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman added Collins' has a genuine gift for analyzing complex market issues and coming up with a range of policy options. "He always presented economic information from a non-biased point of view. This means that Keith has always told the straight story, even when it sometimes wasn't what you wanted to hear," Stallman said.

Collins served as USDA Chief Economist for the past 15 years overseeing USDA's program of market forecasts and projections. Collins' 32 years of federal service included leadership with wide-ranging impact in the economic analysis of agricultural policy, energy and bioproducts, risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, and global climate change. His key roles in USDA farm bill activities began with the 1985 farm bill and continued with frequent testimony on behalf of USDA in congressional hearings and briefings.

Collins leaves USDA in experienced hands. Glauber currently serves as a U.S. Trade Representative special counsel in ongoing Doha negotiations. He has served as deputy chief economist at USDA since 1992. Glauber received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 and holds an AB in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

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