MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – An economist with extensive national and international experience has been named to the new position of BIOAg Value-Added Specialist with Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. He will be located at the WSU Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center at Mount Vernon.
Hector Saez will join the CSANR and NWREC as a research associate on Jan. 14. An economist trained in conventional techniques for analyzing markets, industry trends and government regulation, Saez also is well versed in social sciences and environmental studies.
Saez was formerly a professor of economics with the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, a new master of business administration program in Bainbridge Island, Wash. that integrates profitability, sustainability and social responsibility. In addition to various teaching assignments in New England, Saez has worked on rural development issues in Cuba and Costa Rica.
WSU’s Biologically Intensive and Organic Farming Program, or BIOAg, is a part of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. The program was partially funded by the Washington state Legislature beginning in 2006.
“It’s the farmers, producers and processors in our state who apply sustainable practices who will be the beneficiaries of Hector’s research and outreach,” says CSANR director Chris Feise. “The diversity and extent of his experience really fit well with this critical position.”
As value-added product development specialist, Saez will work with the state’s growers and processors to develop business strategies for adding value to their products to extend and expand their markets. He will research markets and product opportunities, and conduct outreach and educational programs for the state’s sustainable food producers.
“Dr. Saez for the first time will add a business and marketing perspective to the agricultural research and extension work underway at the center,” says Debra Inglis, interim director of the WSU NWREC. “This new position and his expertise will in itself add value to the center’s work to sustain and support agriculture in northwestern Washington and across the state.”
Saez earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and his undergraduate degree at the University of Puerto Rico.