Name: John Westra
Title: Professor
Specialization: Enviromental/Production Economics
Department: Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
Organization: LSU AgCenter
Address 1: 273 Martin D. Woodin Hall
Address 2: Baton Rouge, LA 70803 - 5604
Phone Number: (225) 578-2721
Fax Number: (225) 578-2716

Ph.D. – Agricultural and Applied Economics, with Minor in Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Minnesota, 2001.
M.S. – Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maine, 1991.
B.A. – Psychology, Grinnell College, 1984.

Selected Links:
Areas of Specialization/Research
Environmental/Natural Resource Economics and Production Economics

Conduct a research program in production, natural resource and environmental economics relevant to the agricultural sector. The objective of this research effort is to examine how land management decisions (farming, ranching and other natural resource-based enterprises) affect economic parameters (income and social welfare) and provision of ecosystem services and goods, including primary production, water quality and quantity. Research projects include economic analyses of farming systems (conventional crop and livestock systems and alternative or natural resource conserving practices); economic analyses of agricultural and environmental policies affecting land management decisions and the subsequent impact on water quality and quantity; determining factors associated with producer adoption of new technologies or alternative enterprises; and economic analysis of local food systems effect on land management decisions.

Develop and deliver educational programs to producers, Extension Service personnel and agency staff that address production, marketing, natural resource and environmental economic issues in agriculture. A major component of this appointment is serving as project leader to manage overall efforts of faculty and staff, gathering production and economic data, writing and editing text for the Louisiana Summary of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AgSummary) – a publication of parish and state level production and economic information for more than 200 agricultural and natural resource commodities produced in Louisiana. Additionally, develop and deliver extension programs focus on economic aspects of natural resource conservation in agriculture (water quality and quantity), policy analysis and risk management. Manage professional staff and serve as project leader for the Louisiana MarketMaker Program – an online marketing tool connecting Louisiana producers, food buyers and consumers, to increase marketing and economic opportunities within the food value chain.
Professional Experience
Professor,  Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA, July 2014 to present.

Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA, July 2008 to June 2014.

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA, January 2002 to June 2008.

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Saint Olaf College, Northfield, MN, September 2001 to December 2001.
Professional Awards

Best Poster Presentation – Westra, J., R. Hinson, B. Clark and T. Cooper. “Louisiana’s Seafood Industry Recovery: Potential Economic Impacts of MarketMaker.” Southern Agricultural Economics Association, Annual Conference, Corpus Christi TX, February 2011.

USDA-NIFA Partnership Award, Multistate Effort – J. Westra and R. Hinson (co-Project Leaders in Louisiana) as part of the National Food MarketMaker Program, “for giving consumers better access to fresh, local foods and farmers more opportunities for profitability through successful, multistate partnership.” USDA – National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Washington DC, October 2010.

Best Poster Presentation (3rd place) – Westra, J.V., R.H. Caffey and J.V. Huner. “Working Lands Programs: Potential Tools for Conserving Agricultural Wetlands." Southern Agricultural Economics Association, Annual Conference, Little Rock AR, February 2005.

Best Student Paper Presentation – Zimmerman, J., B. Vondracek, and J. Westra. “Effects of Agricultural Practices on Fish Communities in Two Minnesota Watersheds.” American Fisheries Society, Minnesota Chapter, Annual Meeting, Duluth MN, May 2002.

Awarded Research Support - 18 multi-state projects with total awarded: $5,501,018

Awarded Extension Support - 10 multi-state projects with total awarded: $1,042,267
Refereed Chapters or Essays in Books

Boody, G., P. Gowda, J. Westra, C. van Schaik, P. Welle, B. Vondracek and D. Johnson. 2009. “Multifunctional Grass Farming: Science and Policy Considerations” in Farming with Grass: Achieving Sustainable Mixed Agricultural Landscapes in Grassland Environments edited by Alan J. Franzluebbers, Ankeny, IA: Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Westra, J. and G. Boody. 2009. “Challenges and Necessity of Developing Multifunctional Agroecosystems,” chapter 13 in Agroecosystem Management for the 21st Century: Integrating Production, Environment and Society. Advances in Agroecology Series edited by Patrick J. Bohlen. Boca Raton FL: CRC Press.

Repetto, R., P. Faeth and J. Westra. 1998. “Accounting for Natural Resources in Income and Productivity Measurements” in Environmental Performance Metrics and Ecosystem Condition, edited by Peter Schulze. Washington DC: National Academy Press.

Faeth, P. and J. Westra. 1993. “Alternatives to Corn and Soybean Production in Two Regions of the United States” in Agricultural Policy and Sustainability: Case Studies from India, Chile, the Philippines and the United States, edited by Paul Faeth. Washington DC: World Resources Institute.

Articles in Refereed Journals

Boutwell, L. and J. Westra. 2015. “Evidence of Diminishing Marginal Product of Wetlands for Damage Mitigation”, Natural Resources 6:48-55.

Boutwell, J. and J. Westra. 2013. “Benefits Transfer: A Review of Methodologies and Challenges” Resources 2(4): 517-527.

Broussard, W., R. Turner and J. Westra. 2012. “Do Federal Farm Policies Influence Surface Water Quality?” Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 158(Sept): 103-109.

Gowda, P., J. Westra, D. Petrolia, B. Dalzell and D. Mulla. 2011. “Impact of Targeted Removal of Residue Cover on Water Quality in the Sand Creek Watershed,” Journal of Environmental Hydrology 19(11): 1-12.

Kim, S., J. Westra and J. Gillespie. 2010. “Adoption of Russian Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees among United States Beekeepers,” Korean Journal of Agricultural Management and Policy 37(4): 643-662.

Paudel, K., W. Gauthier, J. Westra and L. Hall. 2008. “Dairy Programs to Reduce Manure-Related Environmental Problems: The Case of the Louisiana Milkshed,” Journal of Environmental Systems 31(4): 367-383.

Paudel, K., W. Gauthier, J. Westra and L. Hall. 2008. “Factors Influencing and Steps Leading to the Adoption of Best Management Practices by Louisiana Dairy Farmers,” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 40(1): 203-222.

Hinson, R., C. Motsenbocker and J. Westra. 2007. “Management Challenges in a Maturing Industry: A Teaching Case Study of Melon Farming in Latin America,” Horticultural Technology 17(2): 262-268.

Johansson, R., M. Livingston, J. Westra and K. Guidry. 2006. “Simulating the U.S. Impacts of Alternative Asian Soybean Rust Treatment Regimes,” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 35(1):52-63.

Westra, J., J. Zimmerman and B. Vondracek. 2005. “Bioeconomic Analysis of Selected Conservation Practices on Soil Erosion and Freshwater Fisheries.” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 41(2):309-322.

Westra, J., J. Zimmerman and B. Vondracek. 2004. “Do Conservation Practices and Programs Benefit the Intended Resource Concern?,” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 33(1):105-120.

Vondracek, B., J. Zimmerman and J. Westra. 2003. “Setting an Effective TMDL: Sediment Loading and Effects of Suspended Sediment on Fish,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association 39(5):1005-1015.

Zimmerman, J., B. Vondracek and J. Westra. 2003. “Agricultural land use effects on sediment loading and fish assemblages in two Minnesota watersheds,” Environmental Management 32(1): 93-105.

Westra, J., K. Easter and K. Olson. 2002. “Targeting Nonpoint Source Pollution Control: Phosphorus in the Minnesota River Basin.” Journal of the American Water Resources Association 38(2): 493-505.

Westra, J., K. Boyle and G. Porter. 1995. “Net revenues of potatoes rotated with other crops.” American Potato Journal 72(2): 99-117.
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