AMES, Iowa — Economist Scott Irwin will present the 2011 William K. Deal Endowed Leadership Lecture Oct. 25 at Iowa State University.
He will present "How Agricultural Economics Saved Futures Markets: An Untold Story of Leadership" at 7 p.m. in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union on campus. The event is free and open to the public.
An international leader in agricultural economics, Irwin is the Laurence J. Norton Chair of Agricultural Marketing at the University of Illinois.
"I plan to share the story of how three relatively obscure agricultural economists played a crucial role in changing the perception of futures markets from mere gambling dens to valuable market institutions for discovering prices and shifting risks," Irwin said. "I will also draw parallels to the current debate about the role of speculation in commodity markets."
Irwin, a native Iowan, grew up on a farm near Bagley and is an Iowa State alumnus with a bachelor's degree in agricultural business. He earned his master's and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics at Purdue University.
He is well known for his research on agricultural marketing and price analysis, commodity market efficiency and speculation in commodity markets. Irwin is widely cited by other academic researchers and frequently consulted by policy-makers and the media.
Irwin's extension programs, including AgMAS and farmdoc, help farmers and agribusinesses evaluate agricultural market advisory services and apply risk management information.
William K. Deal, an Iowa State alum with a degree in agricultural education, established the lecture series to help prepare future leaders and innovators in agriculture. The lecture is organized by the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and co-sponsored by the Committee on Lectures funded by the Government of the Student Body.