Economics 271

ECON 271: Rural Economics

Prerequisite: ECON 206

Credit Hours: (3)

Investigates resource allocation and problems of the basic industries providing foods and fibers to the U.S. economy. Analyzes problems arising in the on-going evolution of demands for utilization of non-urban natural and man-made resources in achieving society's economic objectives.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

Topic Outline


1. Characteristics of American Agriculture Affecting the Supply of Foods and Fibers
2. Demand for Food and Fiber Products
3. Marketing of Foods and Fibers
4. Government Regulation of Production, Prices, and International Trade
5. Rural Community Services
6. Rural Industrialization
7. Land Economics
8. Agricultural Trade and Development


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

The following teaching strategies will be employed:


Students are taught from the text and also have to do a number of supplementary readings that are assigned over the term. They are taken on field visits to such organizations and institutions such as a dairy farm, winery, a land grant campus, and so on.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The course objective is to investigate problems of development, resource allocation, and management in the agricultural and non-urban sectors of the economy.


Assessment Measures

Tests, homework, reports, presentations, class participation. Grades and percentages depend on individual professors.


Other Course Information

A concise and well researched term paper is part of the course requirement. The typed paper, about 6-8 pages in length is to be submitted on the last day of class.

The term paper should have an abstract and other sections providing background information, problem identification, methodology, and data sources utilized, results, discussion, solution, and conclusion. The term paper is evaluated on style of presentation, analytical rigor, soundness of methodology, validity of conclusion, clarity, and language.

The term paper is required to focus on some public policy issue related to the rural economy of a world food policy issue or a management problem of a specific enterprise among the food and fiber industries. A rough draft is to be provided to the instructor approximately a month before the end of the semester. Students are encouraged to avail themselves of the instructor's guidance in preparing the paper.


Review and Approval

Date Action Reviewed by
December 2004 Made alterations to syllabus N. Hashemzadeh, Chair

Revised    4/13/09    Charles Vehorn