The Southern Rural Development Center is proud to honor Dr. Rebekka Dudensing as the 2017 co-recipient of the Bonnie Teater Community Development Early Career Achievement Award. Dudensing is an Associate Professor and Extension Economist for the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University.
Within the field of economic development, Dr. Dudensing has performed many annual economic impact analyses for various organizations including the Brazos County Exposition Complex and the City of Elgin and their Elgin Local Food Center. Dudensing was also praised for her participation in the City Elgin’s seminar, “Local Food as a Driver of Economic Development”. Dudensing also worked to advance the methods in which economic development questions are answered. She created forward-linked models to reflect production and processing for High Plains corn, Texas rice, and Texas Gulf Coast shrimp, and created a framework for establishing economic linkages between actual consumer preferences and farm practices. Becca Jablonski, Assistant Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist at Colorado State University noted that, “Rebekka works to ensure that her research and extension program is not just disseminated in the peer reviewed literature or to extension agents, but to equally important policymakers so that we can see policy changes occur that support regional community development.”
In her short time working in economic development, Dr. Dudensing has produced several successful publications including The Food and Fiber System and Production Agriculture’s Contributions to the Texas Economy as well as a Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) for severe drought in the San Antonio, Texas area.
Dr. Dudensing has also served on a number of influential regional committees. In the 2015-16 year alone she was the Chair of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association’s Community and Regional Economics Network, the Mid-continent Regional Science Association President, Marketing Committee Chair for the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP), and the Chair for the Southern Rural Development Center Technical and Operational Advisory Committee. Several awards have also been given to Dr. Dudensing based on her work, including a NACDEP award for the Texas High Plains Stronger Economies Together strategic planning grant project.
On behalf of Dudensing’s nomination, Dr. Kyle Woosnam, Associate Professor for the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at University of Georgia stated, “Rebekka has a servant’s heart, dedicated to helping communities develop and thrive in the midst of most uncertain times. Her dedication to community development is most obvious in examining the numerous titles of her publications on the topic.”
Clearly, Dr. Dudensing’s portfolio of contributions to the field of community economic development prove her to be very deserving of this prestigious award. Thus, it is most fitting that Dr. Rebekka Dudensing be honored as the Southern Rural Development Center 2017 co-recipient of the Bonnie Teater Community Development Early Career Achievement Award.