We are the Food Distribution Research Society, Inc.
In these changing times, it is critical that academia, government, and industry continue to work together in food distribution to foster the industry growth. Food Distribution Research Society (FDRS) is the only body of scholars and practitioners in the United States dedicated to the study, monitoring and sharing of knowledge about the dramatic changes that are taking place in the global food system.
The 2023 Food Distribution Research Society (FDRS) Annual Conference was held in collaboration with the National Agricultural Marketing Summit from Sunday, November 12 to Tuesday, November 14 in Washington D.C. We had a great schedule, with the Summit theme "Cultivating connection" as well as with FDRS research sessions and events. Last year's conference agenda is available on the 2023 Washington D.C. Conference tab. Preparations for the 2024 FDRS Annual Conference are underway. Information about submissions for Organized Symposium, Research Reports, Research Updates, Outreach Writing, and Teaching case studies will be posted on this website as it becomes available. Stay tuned! We look forward to seeing you at the 2024 FDRS Annual Conference this fall.
A Message From Our President Alba J. Collart
Greetings! Serving as president of the Food Distribution Research Society is an honor, and I welcome our long-time members, new members, and visitors to our website. The Society’s overall goal is to facilitate the development of leading-edge information and education about food distribution through applied research by serving as a forum for exchanging ideas and information and acting as a clearing house for food distribution research and education. We strive to help with food industry education and training, as well as the implementation of new ideas and concepts. We aim to provide professional development, advancement, and recognition in food distribution. Importantly, we are fully committed to creating, supporting, and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where all members enjoy a sense of belonging and are provided opportunities to participate. I and the rest of the leadership embrace these goals and serve to advance them.
The 2023 FDRS Annual Conference was held jointly with the National Agricultural Marketing Summit from November 12–14 in Washington, D.C. Our past president, Dr. Margarita Velandia (University of Tennessee), Vice President for Logistics and Outreach, Dr. Rod Holcomb (Oklahoma State University), and Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Kim Morgan (University of Florida), did an outstanding job making it happen, serving as the board’s liaison, and ensuring everything was in place during the conference and beyond. Our Vice President for Research, Dr. Maria Bampasidou (Louisiana State University), organized an excellent agenda of research sessions that included two organized symposiums, one on the work of regional food business centers and another on the current outlook for hemp in the United States. Our Vice President for Student Programs, Dr. Ariana Torres (Purdue University), put together an exciting Student Food Marketing Challenge in a hybrid format that allowed students to play the role of consultants and compete to give a presentation outlining their strategic recommendations in response to a marketing and food distribution challenge. First place went to the University of Connecticut (Advisor: Dr. Cristina Connolly); second place to Colorado State University (Advisor: Dr. Dawn Thilmany); and third place to Iowa State University (Advisor: Dr. Amani Elobeid). Our Vice President for Education, Dr. Andrew Muhammad (University of Tennessee), identified three outstanding students researching timely issues in food distribution and marketing. The Richardson-Applebaum award for best Ph.D. dissertation went to Dr. Sachintha Mendis (Colorado State University); best M.S. thesis to Mr. Zhengliang Yang (University of Idaho); and best undergraduate research paper to Ms. Josie Nasekos (Clemson University). Of course, you would not have heard of these events if it weren’t for the fantastic work of our VP of Communications, Dr. Shuoli Zhao (University of Kentucky). Our Vice President for Richardson-Applebaum Funds, Dr. Kim Morgan, continues to oversee our Richardson-Applebaum Scholarship Award investment fund, without which we couldn’t recognize outstanding students during our conference. And our Vice President for Industry Relations, Mr. Gary Matteson (Farm Credit Council), continues to help us strengthen our interlinkages with industry and provide invaluable advice so we can stay true to our industry-informed roots. Congratulations to all award winners, and a big thank you to all reviewers and judges who contributed their time and effort to help advance the Society’s goals.
The Society also publishes the Journal of Food Distribution Research (JFDR). The JFDR is an open-access, refereed research journal focusing on applied, problem-oriented issues of importance facing the U.S. agribusiness economic sector. If you work on these topics, we encourage you to submit your articles to our journal. Articles in the JFDR are indexed or cataloged in Ag Econ Search, Google Scholar, RePEc, Econ Papers, SCOPUS, IDEAS, and CAB International. In addition, our great team of Editors, Dr. Ben Campbell (University of Georgia), Dr. Richard Volpe (California Polytechnic State University), and Dr. Carlos Trejo-Pech (University of Tennessee), select the recipient(s) of the Research and Communication Excellence Award from authors whose articles are published in our journal between annual conferences. Last year, the award went to Rudsari et al. (July 2023) for their work to understand the drivers of long-term stability in food supply chains.
Please join us at the annual conference this upcoming fall! This year, I’m excited to welcome our President-Elect and recipient of the 2023 Frank Panyko Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Greg Fonsah (University of Georgia), to the Conference Committee. The calls for presentations, student marketing teams, and award applications for the 2024 FDRS Annual Conference will be available soon on our website, along with the rest of the conference details. In the meantime, if you are considering joining the Society or have recently joined, check out our website or reach out to learn more. If our goals resonate with you and you are a member who would like to serve on the board, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Nominating Committee, Drs. Margarita Velandia (University of Tennessee), Kellie Raper (Oklahoma State University), and Jonathan Baros (North Carolina State University). Our recent Directors, Dr. Arbindra Rimal (Missouri State University), Dr. Linlin Fan (Pennsylvania State University), and Dr. Ban Banerjee (Kentucky State University), have contributed immensely to the board, and a director position is a great way to get involved before transitioning to a Vice President role.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope you will join us!
FDRS Food Marketing Challenge Student Reviews
See what students have to say about their Food Marketing Challenge experience at the annual FDRS Conference.
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The Food Distribution Society Competition was a great experience. We met and hung out with students from other universities and we networked with a few industry professionals who talked with us on an equals instead of feeling like it was a job interview the whole conversation. The competition made us think quick on our feet and create out of the box marketing ideas.The competition made us create out of the box marketing ideas
FDRS was one of the most rewarding academic events we could have participated in! Our team was able to use the information we learned in the classroom and apply it to the challenges at hand. Each of our teammates brought forward strengths that we learned inside and outside of the classroom at CSU. FDRS allowed us to build on and learn new skills that will help us going into our future careers-that may be with FDRS members and organizations!FDRS was one of the most rewarding academic events
Participating in the FDRS case study competition was the highlight of my Senior year. Having a chance to meet students from colleges across the country with similar degree aspirations and interests was a neat experience. The FDRS society did a great job in planning out several field trips for all of the students and staff, making the trip unique to the locale to provide a hands on and visual learning opportunity. On top of that the event incorporates critical thinking, problem solving skills, and presenting in front of an audience, all of which are all crucial skills for life beyond being an undergraduate. The competition also provides something interesting and recent to talk about with future potential employers during interviews after graduation. Overall, participating in the FDRS case study competition was a very positive experience and I would recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to everyone.The FDRS case study competition was the highlight of my Senior year
FDRS allowed me to step outside of the classroom and work with my fellow students to create something useful for our client. It tested our time management and collaboration skills and was a great opportunity to showcase all the knowledge we gained in class.FDRS allowed me to step outside of the classroom
The FDRS case study competition allowed me to showcase all of the information that I had learned in my classes, while enhancing my understanding of numerous concepts. Being a member of the UK team helped me to grow my professional network, gain experience in solving complex issues, and learn how to work with a team. I can say with full confidence that the FDRS case study competition is the most beneficial academic program I participated in while attending the University of Kentucky.The FDRS case study competition is the most beneficial academic program
Collaborating with a team to solve real marketing problems for a client was one of the most rewarding parts of participating in FDRS.Collaborating with a team to solve real marketing problems