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Distance Learning

What is the ERS Distance Learning Program?

The ERS Distance Learning Program links ERS with minority-serving universities and their students to enhance the instruction, understanding, and discussion of food and agricultural policy.

The program…

  • Leverages ERS expertise in key policy areas;
  • Introduces students and faculty to ERS researchers engaged in policy research;
  • Increases students' interest in careers in agricultural economics;
  • Improves the diversity of faculty and students with policy analysis expertise; and
  • Builds stronger relationships and collaborative networks between ERS researchers and minority-serving institutions.

How does the program work?

Each semester, ERS researchers give presentations on timely and policy-relevant topics that broadly cover issues pertaining to food and agricultural policy. The presentations are delivered directly to the classrooms of participating institutions using interactive, real-time technologies. Students interact with ERS researchers by asking questions during the presentation and by giving their own presentations.

Spring 2014 Seminar Schedule (all seminars will be given on Tuesdays beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time):





Emerging energy industries and rural growth

Jeremy Weber


Rural internet at a crossroad

Peter Stenberg


U.S. farmland values – key concepts and trends

Jennifer Ifft


Food access in the United States

Shelly Ver Ploeg


Effects of changes in SNAP benefits on food security

Mark Nord


Food insecurity and disabilities in the United States

Alisha Coleman-Jensen


Recent estimates of the cost of foodborne illness are in general agreement

Tobenna Anekwe and Sandra Hoffmann


U.S. Farm Bill

Erik O'Donoghue


The impact of NAFTA after 20 years

Steven Zahniser

To register for a seminar, please send an email to Hodan Farah Wells.

Last updated: Friday, January 24, 2014

For more information contact: Christopher Davis, Keithly Jones, and Hodan Farah Wells

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