MSU's ag econ department head honored for lifetime achievement

Author: Vanessa Beeson

male portrait

Keith Coble  (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A Mississippi State University department head and leading agricultural economics expert is being honored for his longstanding contributions to agriculture.

Keith Coble, professor and head of MSU's Department of Agricultural Economics, is a selection for the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Lifetime Achievement award. According to its website, the mission of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, or SAEA, is to foster the study and understanding of agricultural economics and its applications to address problems in the southern U.S.

Coble will receive the association's highest recognition at its annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, on Feb. 4.

The honor recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to scholarship and public service in southern agricultural economics over the course of a career spanning 25 years or more.

George Hopper, dean of MSU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the university's Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said the designation exemplifies Coble's commitment to excellence in research, teaching and service.

"Dr. Coble is recognized and respected among his peers as an expert in the areas of agricultural risk, crop insurance and farm policy," Hopper said. "Whether advising U.S. senators, MSU agricultural economics students or our state's farmers, Dr. Coble is a trusted authority in the field."

Coble is the current president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, or AAEA. As an accomplished researcher, he has published in more than 90 refereed journals, including 13 articles in the Journal of Agricultural Economics. He also served as minority chief economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry during the 2014 Farm Bill debate.

The William L. Giles Distinguished Professor has served as major professor or committee member for more than 50 graduate students, taught eight undergraduate and graduate courses and received numerous teaching awards including the SAEA award for Distinguished Professional Contribution in the Teaching of a Course. Additionally, he serves farmers through an active program with the MSU Extension Service, publishing material and providing presentations related to crop insurance and farm policy.

As an active member of the association for several years, Coble said he's proud of the recognition and appreciative of the SAEA, as well as Mississippi State.

"I have great respect for the progress the SAEA has made in recent years and I appreciate the effort of those who nominated me. This honor also makes me appreciate all the colleagues who have helped during my 22 years at Mississippi State and my wife Kim who has been a true partner for 30-plus years. Mississippi State is a great place to work," Coble said.

Coble also served on the AAEA board of directors from 2012-2015. He chaired two AAEA sections, including the AAEA Applied Risk Analysis section, which he co-founded. He has served on several committees within the SAEA, AAEA, Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Farm Foundation, USDA and the Ag Data Coalition. He has been associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, guest editor for the Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance and on the editorial boards of the Agricultural Finance Review and the SAEA' Journal of Agriculture and Applied Economics.

Coble earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural education from the University of Missouri. He earned his doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University.

For more on the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, visit

MSU's Department of Agricultural Economics offers majors in agribusiness and environmental economics and management. Graduate students can earn master's degrees in agricultural economics or agribusiness management. For more information on the Department of Agricultural Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, visit

Date: 2020-01-28

Agricultural Economics