UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

ARE Welcomes James Sayre to the Faculty

Oct. 6, 2023

ARE is pleased to welcome Dr. James Sayre to our faculty as an assistant professor of Cooperative Extension. Sayre, who specializes in agricultural economics and international trade, earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley and a B.S. in Economics and Mathematics at the University of Minnesota.

Traveling abroad in youth ignited Sayre’s curiosity about the disparities in living conditions across countries. He wondered why some regions flourished while others faced persistent challenges. In college, Jay was drawn to economics, history, and sociology alike, as they all touched upon this question. However, a role as a research assistant as an undergraduate ultimately led to his decision to study economics: “I came to understand that social scientists are not merely observers of these issues; they are detectives, piecing together intricate puzzles using data, modeling, and statistics.”

He was captivated by the interdisciplinary approach economists employ—harnessing new datasets and innovative methodologies to shed light on historical and current issues. In particular, agricultural economics and its long history of pioneering empirical and interdisciplinary methods to answer policy relevant questions drew him to undertake a Ph.D. in agricultural & resource economics.

Sayre’s fields of interest are international trade, agriculture, and remote sensing. He has a particular interest in the effects that cross-border trade between the U.S. and Mexico has had upon both countries. He frequently uses methods such as simulation modeling and remote sensing in his current research. Some current areas of interest include studying where agricultural supply chains are located presently and where they may be located in the future, using satellite imagery to predict crop yields at large scale, and examining the effects of agricultural intermediaries on nearby regions.

As an assistant professor of Cooperative Extension, he appreciates the direct and meaningful impact that extension work can have on real-world problems and how it bridges the gap between rigorous academic research and actionable insights that can be applied on the ground. He is enthusiastic about the prospect of connecting with the vibrant community of growers, intermediaries, policymakers, and other cooperative extension academics in the backyard of Davis, the Central Valley and Sacramento region, and beyond.

Sayre is thrilled to be a part of UC Davis ARE and to collaborate and learn from our world-class faculty working at the forefront of the field. Additionally, he is eager to engage and work with the diverse and exceptional cohorts of ARE graduate students.

Outside of work, Jay enjoys biking, surfing, skiing, trail running, and traveling and loves the breadth of recreational opportunities northern California has to offer.


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