Longtime agricultural and applied economics professor, administrator dies
Don Ethridge, a ground-breaking agricultural economist and one of the founding leaders of Texas Tech University's Cotton Economics Research Institute, died on June 13. He was 73.
Ethridge, who worked at the USDA and CIA, served as professor and chairman of Tech's Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics from 1997 to 2005. In 1997, he was named director of the Cotton Economics Research Institute. He retired from the university in 2008.
"Don Ethridge's monumental contributions to our department and the agricultural and applied economics profession are numerous," said Eduardo Segarra, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. "He significantly contributed to the professional formation of our faculty, staff and students. There is no doubt that he will be missed."
Ethridge, who over the decades received grants in excess of $4.5 million, focused his research efforts on rangeland economics and economics of the cotton industry. Projects include economic analyses of brush control and other range enhancement practices, marketing/production systems in semi-arid lands, and price and weather risk analyses.
In addition, he developed and organized economic research programs in fibers and oil crops with emphasis on the western U.S. coordination/cooperation/liaison work with cotton industry and other research groups and institutions.
Separately, Ethridge spotlighted research on world food and natural resource issues. Projects include projections of world production, consumption, and trade for grains and meat; estimation of demand for meats in the world and selected countries; and monitoring of contract research on grain trade modeling.
Ethridge had significant overseas experience, including a United States Agency for International Development project evaluating Ethiopia's fiber/textiles sector; presentation of seminars in Mexico on the structure and operation of cotton marketing in the United States; and a project working on privatization of the Philippine cotton and textile industries.
Ethridge earned his bachelor's degree in 1965 and master's degree in agricultural economics from Texas Tech in 1967. He completed his doctorate in economics from North Carolina State University in 1970. Following graduation, he joined the faculty of North Carolina State as an instructor of economics and later as an assistant professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
Prior to coming to Texas Tech in 1981, Ethridge served as an economist and senior representative with the USDA's Economic Research Service. He also worked as a senior economic analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency's Office of Economic Research, where he conducted policy analysis and research.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Phillip Johnson, chairman and director of the Thornton Agricultural Finance Institute, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-0474 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0616NM16 / Editor's Note: In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Texas Tech Foundation: Don Ethridge Scholarship, PO Box 42123 Lubbock, TX 79409 or Meals on Wheels, 2304 34th Street Lubbock, TX 79411.
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Editor: Norman Martin
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