CARD names new director

Melissa Berg

ISU’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) recently named Bruce Babcock, professor of economics, as its new director.

CARD is the largest university-based agricultural policy research institute in the United States, according to a press release.

Babcock said the research done by CARD focuses on agricultural trade policy, the farm bill, food and nutrition policy and resource and environmental development policy.

“[Babcock] is highly qualified for the position as director,” said John Miranowski, professor and chairman of agricultural economics.

Miranowski said he is confident in Babcock’s ability as director because Babcock was a division director in CARD heading the environmental policy division.

“He also led developmental research programs in risk management and environmental issues,” Miranowski said.

The development of the Resource and Agricultural Policy System, a model that assesses trends in crop and livestock production and their effects on the environment, also was led by Babcock.

Babcock is the third permanent director of CARD since it began in 1958. The first director was Earl Heady, who held the post from 1958 to 1984. Stanley Johnson took over in 1986 and remained until 1996 when he was named ISU’s vice provost for extension.

William Meyers, associate director of CARD, served as the interim director after Johnson until Babcock took over this year. Meyers now will return to teaching and conducting research.

Babcock graduated from North Carolina State University where he became an assistant professor of economics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and he came to ISU in 1990.

“My research interests are with agricultural and environmental policy, agricultural insurance and economics of precision farming,” Babcock said.