Tina L. Saitone is a cooperative extension specialist focused on Livestock and Rangeland Economics in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis and the director of the Agribusiness Executive Seminar. Dr. Saitone conducts research on a broad range of topics in agricultural economics including food quality and safety, agricultural cooperatives, industry competition, generic commodity promotion, federal and state marketing orders, and supplementary feeding programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Examples of recent research include a study of cost containment for the California WIC program, wherein she and co-authors identified $50 million in annual cost savings for the program without impacting participant access. Saitone and colleagues Dan Sumner and Richard Sexton recently examined impacts on agricultural industries when downstream buyers impose restrictive production practices on farmers, such as restricted use of antibiotics and cage-free production of eggs. In work published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics in 2015, they showed that these practices would likely harm producers and consumers of both the restricted and unrestricted product, unless consumer demand for the restricted product was strong, something they concluded was unlikely given current evidence. This work has attracted considerable attention within the farm press, including this recent summary in Farmdoc Daily.
A lifelong Californian, Saitone grew up in Sonoma County, where her family still owns and operates a vineyard that has been in the family for more than 100 years. She received a B.A. degree (summa cum laude) in economics from Sonoma State University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Davis.
Before returning to UC Davis in 2012, Saitone worked for OnPoint Analytics, an economic consulting firm in Emeryville, California, where she conducted research on a wide variety of agricultural industries including meatpacking, dairy, eggs, broilers, and sugar beets.
Saitone’s research has been published in leading academic journals including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Annual Review of Resource Economics, Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, and European Review of Agricultural Economics. Dr. Saitone has taught courses at the University of California, Davis and Sonoma State University in business and antitrust regulation, microeconomics, and environmental economics.
Dr. Saitone maintains an active presence in the horse industry to this day at Petaluma Hills Stables in Santa Rosa, California, where in her spare time she helps lifelong friend Carrie Hover to operate the ranch and trains her own horses.
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