Putnam names new chief economist for Dep’t of Agriculture

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An economist who worked on bioeconomic models to rebuild overfished fisheries, and on impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on northwest Florida is joining the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as chief economist.

Sergio Alvarez, appointed today by Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, will work on projects including the economic impact of proposed rules, effects of pests and disease on the ag industry, the economic impact of a declined oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay, and the success of the Food, Nutrition and Wellness program for children.

“I am excited to bring Sergio on board to share his expertise in many areas throughout our agency,” Commissioner Putnam said. “His knowledge and depth will help us determine the economic impacts of policies and programs to ensure we are using taxpayers’ dollars in the most efficient manner.”

Alvarez earned his PhD in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida, where he received several awards and fellowships and made more than a dozen presentations on environmental economics. Alvarez is a member of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and the North American Association of Fisheries Economists, and has been published in the Journal of Sustainable Development.