ARE Students Win National Food Marketing Challenge

3 students with award placard

UConn students placed first in the national Food Distribution Research Society (FDRS) Student Food Marketing Challenge. The winning team included John Daly ’23 ’24 (CAHNR), William Hiers ’24, and Jacob Timchak ’25 and was organized by Cristina Connolly, ARE Assistant Professor.
All teams were given a real-world problem and one week to develop strategies to address the issue at hand. The UConn team was assigned an Uzbekistani company, Metin LLC, looking to expand into international markets beyond Russia. They looked at various food products, namely fresh and dried fruits, and identified which foreign markets would be the best fit for those products. After many iterations and a few late nights, the team decided to recommend the company sell fresh fruit to China and dried fruit to the United Kingdom.
“Because these are real clients, the solutions that all three teams came up with are all getting sent to Metin,” Connolly says. “So, there could potentially be real impacts from the results of this competition, it’s not just theoretical.”

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ARE Graduate Program Offers USDA Fellowship in Data Science

tablet with graph

Students applying to the master’s program in agricultural and resource economics (ARE) in UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources who are interested in data science can also apply for a USDA National Needs Fellowship. The funding supports students for both years of the master’s program providing them with a tuition waver and a stipend of $18,500 per year. Applications are due January 15, 2024. The funding is limited to U.S. citizens or nationals.

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Dollar Store Expansion Pushes Out Independant Grocery Stores

Dollar Store aisle

Rigoberto Lopez, professor of agricultural and resource economics in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, found that when dollar stores enter these areas, independent grocery stores shut down. Lopez and collaborators Keenan Marchesi from the USDA and professor Sandro Steinbach from North Dakota State University published these findings in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy.

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NSF Future Manufacturing Grant: Poultry Nutrition

6 researchers

ARE Professor Rigoberto Lopez part of interdisciplinary research team that will use a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop a novel biomanufacturing technology to use microalgae to produce an essential amino acid for poultry feed. The team is led by Mingyu Qiao, assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR), and includes three faculty members from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: Yu Lei, centennial professor, Yongku Cho, associate professor and Burcu Beykal, assistant professor; and one other faculty member within CAHNR: Yangchao Luo, associate professor of nutritional sciences.

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