Michael Dicks, PhD - Former director, AVMA Veterinary Economics Division
Raised in rural Orange County, California, Dr. Dicks began his agricultural career working in the Irvine Company’s vegetable fields and ranches. He obtained degrees in Biochemistry and Animal Science from California Polytechnic State University in 1975.
Dr. Dicks traveled to Kenya in 1976 to serve three and a half years with the U.S. Peace Corps as a chemistry teacher. During his tenure, he visited many of the local farms and developed technologies to provide water and energy to the rural communities. In 1978, he received funding from The Ford Foundation, the humanitarian agency CARE and the National Christian Council of Kenya to establish a rural cooperative to assist in the development and construction of water delivery and energy production technologies for rural communities.
He obtained his master’s degree working on a waste-to-energy project in Tunisia and his doctorate from the University of Missouri in Agricultural Economics, specializing in natural resource policy and international development.
From 1984 to 1989, Dr Dicks worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service. In 1989, he was a policy specialist responsible for developing and implementing the first Conservation Title in a U.S. Farm Bill. Dr. Dicks was also initiated into USDA’s Aquaculture Industry Situation and Outlook program as well as the Industrial Crops and Products Situation and Outlook program.
Dr. Dicks was hired by Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 1989 to work in the area of agricultural policy. He was the director of the Great Plains Agricultural Policy Center from 1991 to 1997 and director of the Center for International Trade and Development from 2009 to 2012. He retired from OSU as the Wes and Lou Watkins Chair for International Trade and Development in 2013.
He’s been married for 30 years and has three children. When Dr. Dicks isn’t working, he likes to climb mountains, swim oceans, race motorcycles across the country and spend time with his family. He has two Australian shepherds, Jake and Maggie.
Former director, AVMA Veterinary Economics Division