Dr. Gerry Toland

I am Ag because of my career path as a college professor with an avid interest in promoting agricultural production growth that is in balance with conservation economics. I believe that we should wisely use our earth’s resources for the betterment and nourishment of mankind, both now and in the future. I also respect the key role that new technologies play in maintaining the balance between productivity growth and economical resource use.

I am a Professor of Economics and Agriculture at Southwest Minnesota State University, and I’ve been teaching courses for 27-years. I am currently the Chair of SMSU’s Agriculture, Culinology® and Hospitality Management (ACHM) Department. Before SMSU, I taught at South Dakota State University in their economics department. I received my bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania State University, and my master’s and doctoral degrees at Michigan State University.

I am an avid supporter of sustainability. Long before the term “sustainable” gained popularity, I was passionate about the need to harmonize the growth of our agrifood system with the scarce resources that help our system to succeed.

Today’s media tells us that “extreme experiences” are a source of excitement. My focus is different. I seek opportunities to establish middle-ground solutions. I believe that we create real value when we carefully take all important considerations into account.

My current ag-related project is to co-author a textbook which examines the influence of government policies on our agrifood system. My two colleagues in this academic venture are Dr. Raphael Onyeaghala, a College Dean at SMSU), and Dr. William Nganje, Chair of North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) Agriculture and Applied Economics Department.

As of June 2017, we are in the final stages of preparing the textbook and its companion website for publication. The official name of the textbook is: US Agricultural and Food Policies: Economic Choices and Consequences

The textbook and website will encourage college students to analyze and predict alternative economic outcomes associated with particular policy choices. Students using the textbook will go beyond basic memorization. They will work towards mastery of higher-level activities, including problem-solving and critical thinking. The opportunities to build these investigative skills are abundant, because of the vast and phenomenal diversity of today’s U.S. and global agricultural and food systems.