Steven Blank, professor of agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the university community since 2012, Blank served as professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, providing leadership for the department’s teaching, research, extension, and outreach programs.

From 1990 to 2012, Blank was an Extension economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis, where he led a statewide education and applied research program in financial and risk management. He also developed a Cooperative Extension program throughout California. Blank taught classes as well as conducted research involving risk analysis, financial management, future and options markets, agriculture profitability, and business management.

He was a visiting associate professor at UC Davis from 1988 to 1990. 

From 1996 to 2002, he was the assistant vice provost for academic personnel at the university and handled all aspects of academic recruitment and advancement; was an advisor for the vice provost; analyzed administrative policies and drafted new ones; developed and conducted special research projects, conferences and workshops involving personnel and planning issues; and executed special projects including personnel restructuring and faculty enhancement.

Prior to his work in California, Blank was an Extension economist at the associate professor level in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Arizona; associate professor in the Economics Department at South Dakota State University; a section head at the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in Canberra, Australia; and an assistant professor in the Agricultural Management Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Throughout his career, Blank has received numerous awards, including receiving the title of Fellow of the Western Agricultural Economics Association. He authored more than 300 publications, including four books. His most recent is titled, “The Economics of American Agriculture: Evolution and Global Development.”

Blank received his Ph.D. and a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, his M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Stanislaus.

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