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Job Opportunity at USDA's Economic Research Service

Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:46 pm
by KellyUSDA
USDA’s Economic Research Service is currently recruiting for an Economist to work with the Regional Environment and Agriculture Programming (REAP) model in our Kansas City, MO office. REAP was born of the movement towards large-scale mathematical programming models of agricultural production. Programmed in GAMS, the main function of REAP is to simulate the regional allocation of resources (land and other inputs, such as fertilizer and water) used by production agriculture in the U.S. and how those allocations shift in response to changes in policy, market, or bio-physical conditions. The products included in REAP are commodity crops, livestock, and several specialty crops (fruits, vegetables and nuts). REAP is a partial equilibrium, price endogenous model that solves for an optimal intersection of supply and demand at the national level, allowing for regional variation according to differing resource endowments, inputs and production. The optimization allocates agricultural production into regions, crop rotations, production methods (tillage and irrigation options), and livestock and processed goods production pathways that maximize national economic surplus. An important and distinguishing feature of REAP is the inclusion of environmental impact drivers and outcomes, such as nutrient loss, soil erosion, and GHG emissions that are specific to the crop rotation, soil type, tillage system, and more. These measures can be used to inform potential consequences to air and water quality from changes in U.S. agricultural production.

ERS has been the home to REAP since the 1980s, and the model is used extensively to inform reports, journal publications, and important policy discussions. ERS is currently hiring up to 2 highly motivated Economists at the GS-12 level to learn, update, program, develop, and apply REAP to a suite of USDA policy questions. While experience with GAMS, R, database management, and/or biophysical modeling is useful, more important is a willingness to take on the modeling challenges and an ability to formulate analysis of complex policy issues and communicate results through writing, briefings, seminars, and more. Training is provided. This is an exciting opportunity to pursue policy relevant work in a supportive, research environment. We are currently hiring for the Kansas City, MO location at the GS-12 level, but may have more senior positions available soon. U.S. citizenship is required. Please go to to apply through May 15, 2020. Or contact Kelly Maguire (; 202-694-5448) for more information.