Mary Marchant, professor of agricultural and applied economics in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, the organization’s highest honor, for her commitment to scholarship in teaching and applied research.

Her unwavering support of student-focused scholarship has enhanced her own career and led her to occupy key leadership appointments in agriculture. From 2006 to 2008 she was the associate dean and director for academic programs in the college.

As director she was a tireless advocate for students and faculty and promoted the scholarship of teaching and learning through innovative internal teaching grants and workshops. A record $720,000 in student scholarships were awarded in 2008 and 2009 alone. She has presided over 30 student co-authored referred publications and over 50 student co-authored presentations at professional meetings.

“The Southern Agricultural Economics Association Lifetime Achievement award is a true honor. I appreciate the many opportunities the association has given me and thank my Virginia Tech colleagues for their support,” she said.

Prior to coming to Virginia Tech Marchant rose through the ranks of the University of Kentucky and established herself as an outstanding academic instructor.

Marchant received numerous awards for outstanding teaching including the University of Kentucky Great Teacher award and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Distinguished Teaching Award for Less Than 10 Years’ Experience.

Marchant’s research area is heavily focused on two areas: international trade that examines American competitiveness in the global marketplace, and also the interaction of domestic policies through the international markets with an eye towards China. Her other area of research is concentrated on the Food and Agriculture Education Information System, a project that has been in existence for 30 years and at Virginia Tech since 2002.

Marchant’s career highlights include being awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agricultural Economics in Italy to exchange international trade knowledge and enhance the international marketplace. Other research accomplishments have resulted in the Best Paper award by the China section of the Agricultural Applied Economics Association, the Virginia Tech Alumni award for Excellence in International Research, and the Wethington award for prestigious grants. 

Marchant has also received over $3 million in external funding including five USDA National Research Initiatives competitive grants.

Her effectiveness in southern agricultural economics service led to successful elections as the U.S. board member of the International Association of Agricultural Economists and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Foundation Board. Most recently, she served a three-year term as co-editor of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association’s Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics with Virginia Tech colleague Darrell Bosch.

Marchant began her academic career in California where she earned all her advanced degrees from the University of California at Davis — a bachelor of science in urban planning, a master's degree in economics, and a doctoral degree in agricultural economics.



Written by Amy Loeffler.
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