AFRE Graduate Student Clare McGrady is Named a 2024 Farm Foundation Agricultural Scholar

Clare McGrady is a master's degree student in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE).

Clare McGrady, a master’s student in Michigan State Uiversity’s Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) has developed a passion for development economics. McGrady joined AFRE in fall 2022 and, now in her second year, was recently named a 2024 Farm Foundation Agricultural Scholar.

The Farm Foundation Agricultural Scholar program seeks to actively engage policy-oriented graduate student scholars in a year-long series of learning experiences focused on production agriculture, agribusiness, and government.  The goal of the program is to train the next generation of agricultural economists interested agricultural policy, commodity market analysis, agricultural finance, and other fields of applied economics.

1M7A6923.jpgMcGrady is one of only 20 students from across the country named as a scholar this year. She is already embracing the opportunity for networking and education.

“I'm so excited. I really love learning from other students,” McGrady said. “I love talking to other students about their research. I'm already getting more ideas the more I talk to the other students in this program, getting fresh perspectives, and hearing what other programs in the US are like.

As a Farm Foundation Agricultural Scholar, McGrady will be assigned an Economic Research Service (ERS) mentor. The mentor is someone who aligns with the participant’s research interest. Over the course of this experience, McGrady will participate in two roundtables offered by the Farm Foundation, attend the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association conference, and a few industry trips within agricultural economics. The entire program ends with each of the 20 scholars carrying out a capstone project.

With so many exciting opportunities ahead of her, McGrady already feels that the experience is rewarding.

“I'm so inspired by other students' work. I am so happy to be around other scholars and students within ag econ. That's been great,” McGrady shared. “I can't wait to go to the June roundtable. I will be better prepared, have a bit better of an elevator pitch and just have more experience. So, I'm really looking forward to going back to the June round table.

McGrady is currently in the second year of her master’s program within AFRE and focusing her education on development economics. She is focusing her research and thesis on sanitary and phytosanitary measures within trade negotiations, specifically in East Africa.

McGrady explained, “I just thought it was a really interesting topic to pursue because from what I've seen, it's harder for developing countries to make those standards and to adhere to those regulations when it comes to food safety.”

Now in her final semester, McGrady is grateful for her time thus far in AFRE and looking forward to the experiences ahead.

“I feel like AFRI does a really good job at getting people together as long as you make the effort to go to the things and I'm very happy that I'll have these lifelong connections.” McGrady shared. “After graduation, I'd really like to work closer to policy and policy analysis. I really enjoyed the research assistantship that I've had here while I've been studying; and I would like to learn more about agricultural policies and what are some of the stumbling blocks that producers face here, and what are the unnecessary policies that make their lives harder, or what are things that could be enacted that would make their lives easier.”

McGrady joins several other current and former MSU AFRE graduate students who were named foundation scholars including Kayla Braggs in 2023 and Jose Quintero in 2022.

Hanwoo farm 3.jpg


Did you find this article useful?