CCRI director, Prof Janet Dwyer, has taken the helm at the UK Agricultural Economics Society (AES), which promotes study and teaching within the domains of agricultural, food and related industries, rural society and the environment.

Janet, who is also co-director of the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE), and is leader for NICRE in the south west, said: “I am extremely honoured and humbled to have been elected as the president of the AES which has a long and celebrated history. I have been a member of AES since 1986 and greatly appreciate its role in supporting research and policy, embracing the sustainability agenda and supporting business adaptation and development, in recent decades.

“At a time of great uncertainty for agricultural and rural economies with on-going challenges from COVID-19, the climate crisis, post-Brexit policy and market turbulence, there has never been a greater need for strong applied agricultural economic research and analysis, rooted in real-world experience.

“I have called for members of the society to help promote a more ambitious and diverse understanding of their discipline, and what it has to offer to policy and business communities in these critical decades of the early 21st century.”

Prof Dwyer joined the CCRI in 2002 after working for more than a decade in a government agency and an independent policy think-tank. She was awarded the title of professor of rural policy in 2010 and became director of the CCRI in 2013.

Prof Dwyer directs and undertakes research related to agriculture, the environment and rural development. Her research expertise centres on European and UK agricultural and rural development policy and practice, with particular interest in integrated approaches, environmental sustainability and institutional adaptation.

In September last year, she and partners launched NICRE, with funding from Research England, to foster resilient rural enterprise and unlock the innovation potential in sustainable rural economies through collaboration and co-design.

Prof Dwyer said: “Rural businesses need more visibility, more help with creative thinking and future-scanning and more innovative, engaged analysis to help navigate a route through our pressing national and global challenges.

“Helping to build that capacity through facilitation and co-created research and development can make a key contribution in this area – our ambition at NICRE is to add real value and strengthen rural enterprise in the years ahead.” AES will celebrate its centenary in 2026.