Using Insights from Behavioral Sciences to Improve Agri-Environmental Programs

October 28, 2015 – CBEAR hosted its first workshop on “Using Insights from Behavioral Sciences to Improve Agri-environmental Programs” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. With a mix of CBEAR researchers and program administrators from the USDA and other governmental agencies, the workshop covered a number of introductory topics in the behavioral sciences. Joanne Guthrie, Assistant Deputy Director for Nutrition in the Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program, started the day by sharing some of the successes of related centers within USDA (the BEN Center¬†and the BECR Center). Dr. Paul Ferraro, co-Director of CBEAR, then gave a presentation on “Behavioral Economics & Policy”, followed by a presentation on “Evidence that your Improvements Work” from Dr. Kent Messer, co-Director of CBEAR. Dr. Messer also gave a presentation on “How CBEAR Works”. During lunch, Dr. Mike Price, co-PI of CBEAR, gave a presentation on “The Science of Philathropy Initiative: Activities and lessons learned”. During afternoon breakout sessions, groups tackled issues on cost-effective ways to manage wild fires, increasing use of national¬†forests by urban populations, and reducing the complexity of applications to programs examining histosol soils.

Presentations and workshop materials are available for download below. Recordings of presentation will be available within two weeks after the workshop.

Thank you to all who attended for making the workshop such a success and a special thank you to the Farm Foundation & USDA’s Economic Research Service, who provided funding support for the workshop! Please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns. Future “lunch & learns” will be planned in the future. If you are not already on our mailing list and would like to be included to learn about upcoming events & updates on CBEAR, please contact Maddi Valinski (


Success of the BEN and BECR Centers – Joanne Guthrie

Behavioral Economics and Policy – Paul Ferraro

Evidence that your Improvements Work – Kent Messer

How CBEAR Works – Kent Messer

Science of Philanthropy Initiative: Activities and Lessons Learned – Mike Price

Group Exercise

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