For more than 40 years, grain marketing information out of Iowa State University often came from Robert Wisner, agriculture economist. On Dec. 3, Wisner will retire from his university post.

"Bob Wisner has been the preeminent grain economist in the United States for much of the last 40 years," says Arne Hallam, economics department chair. "His analysis has informed the decisions of multiple generations of agricultural producers and firms. He has provided exceptional service to farmers, government agencies and agribusinesses."

Wisner earned both a bachelor's and master's degree at Michigan State University and a doctorate at the University of Tennessee before landing at Iowa State. He was named a University Professor in 1997 and the Coles Professor of International Agriculture in 2005.

Over the past four decades, Wisner has become well-known as an innovator in market outlook, and in analysis of marketing and risk-management strategies. He was the first, and still one of the few outlook specialists, to present probability-based grain price forecasts.

Many of the revenue assurance contracts now offered by crop insurance companies are based on concepts Wisner and others at Iowa State developed and tested. During the 1990s, Wisner worked with crop insurance industry leaders to educate insurance agents and producers about the benefits of integrating two risk-management tools - forward pricing and harvest-price revenue insurance.

Wisner is recognized around the world. His writings on risk-management and marketing of genetically modified crops have been translated and widely used in Japan and China, and have helped shape research on identity-preserved marketing in Europe.
After taking a break for a few months, Wisner plans to do some work for the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center on the Iowa State campus.

Source: Iowa State University