Visit from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

8 June 2022

We were delighted to welcome a delegation from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the RAU today (Wednesday 8 June).

USDA Chief Economist Dr Seth Meyer, and Cynthia Iglesias Guven, USDA Agricultural Counsellor for the UK and Ireland, joined senior staff and academics from the RAU for a tour of our Cirencester campus, including the University’s agritech incubator Farm491, before joining academics and researchers for lunch and a round table discussion.

They also met with RAU Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter McCaffery, Chair of the RAU’s Governing Council Dame Fiona Reynolds, and RAU Director of Research and Enterprise Professor Mark Horton, to learn more about the work we do to encourage sustainable land use through our research, business support, and curriculum, as well as to explore ways in which we may be able to work together in the future.

Professor Mark Horton said: “We were delighted to welcome both Seth and Cynthia to the RAU. We were able to share details of our world-leading research with them both during the round table session as well as to show them all the fantastic facilities we have here at the RAU. We hope that this is the start of a continuing relationship and we look forward to working with the USDA in the future.”

Dr Meyer, who was appointed USDA’s Chief Economist in January 2021, was previously a Research Professor and the Associate Director for the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri which is well known for its agricultural policy and market analysis. Prior to that he was head of the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) in the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE), the agency at USDA charged with bringing together USDA resources in the assessment of crops around the world, and also served as an economist with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Before moving to London to take up her role as Agricultural Counsellor, Ms Guven was the Acting Deputy Administrator (Director General) for the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Foreign Affairs, in Washington DC, where she managed the operations of the Foreign Service covering nearly 170 countries worldwide. She also served as Assistant Deputy Administrator and Area Director for South and Southeast Asia. Previously, she was the Senior Agricultural Attaché and Deputy to the Minister Counselor for Agriculture at the U.S. Mission to the European Union, and has also served as the Deputy in the Agricultural Sections of the U.S. Embassies in Cairo and Ankara.