AFCERC Principals

Dr. Gary W. Williams (left)

Dr. Williams is Co-Director of AFCERC and chief operations officer responsible for managing the research program of the Center. He is a professor of agricultural economics and leads AFCERC research and outreach projects relating to commodity and agribusiness markets and policy and international trade and policy. His areas of teaching and research emphases include commodity promotion programs, international agricultural trade and development, agricultural policy, and marketing and price analysis.

Dr. Williams was raised in Lubbock, Texas and is a 1968 graduate of Monterey High School. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University (1978 and 1981) and a B.S. in Economics from Brigham Young University (1974). Prior to joining the faculty at Texas A&M University, he gained experience as a professor and Assistant Coordinator of the Meat Export Research Center at Iowa State University, Senior Economist at Chase Econometrics, agricultural economist for the USDA., and Special Assistant to the U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs at USDA. Dr. Williams speaks fluent Spanish and has lived and worked in Latin America throughout his career, focusing particularly on NAFTA and other agricultural trade, policy, and development issues. In recent years, he has become particularly well known for his research on the economic effectiveness of commodity checkoff programs, including those for soybeans, cotton, lamb, Florida orange juice, propane, Texas citrus, Texas pecans, and others. He is also well known for his research on U.S. and world oilseed and oilseed product markets and the U.S. livestock industry including issues related to sheep and lamb markets and the effects of concentration in the beef packing industry. He recently served as Chair of a National Academy of Science Committee on the status and economic performance of the U.S. Sheep and Lamb Industry.

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Dr. Oral Capps, Jr. (middle)

Dr. Capps is Co-Director of AFCERC and chief resource development officer. He is holder of the Southwest Dairy Marketing Endowed Chair and an executive professor of agricultural economics and a Regents Professor. He also leads AFCERC research and outreach projects relating to food industry performance, pricing, and consumer behavior.

Dr. Capps received his B.S. in Mathematics, M.S. in Statistics, M.S. in Agricultural Economics, and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, all from Virginia Tech. Dr. Capps is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in demand analysis, specializing in working with large data bases. Applied research areas include analysis of expenditure patterns of prepared foods and foods eaten away from home, analysis of health and nutrition issues, uses of scanner-derived information for managerial decision-making in food retailing, unilateral price effects of mergers and acquisitions; and analysis of regional, national, and international markets for the agricultural, agribusiness, and financial sectors.

Dr. Capps served on the Editorial Board of the American Agricultural Economics Association, was Past President of the Food Distribution Research Society, and is currently a Seminar Leader for the National Association of Business Economics and the Institute of Professional Education. He has served or is currently serving as a consultant to the following firms: Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc; C.H. Dean and Associates, Inc.; Polariod Corporation; Property and Portfolio Research; American Express; Deloitte and Touche LLP; Fidelity Investments; PricewaterhouseCoopers; First USA Bank; Hill's Pet Nutrition; Coca-Cola, Inc.; Sound Transit; and Ernest and Julio Gallo. Special Focus: econometrics, market analysis, and applied statistics.

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Dr. Victoria Salin (right)

Dr. Salin is Co-Director of AFCERC and chief financial officer. She manages the budget, staffing, and day-to-day operations of the Center. She leads the research and outreach projects of the Center relating to food safety, traceability, financial markets, and strategic management. Recent research projects examine supply chain management and the role of RFID technology, efficient transportation in private sector food safety programs, business social networks for safer foods, microfinance and credit rationing, and risk exposures of lending institutions. 

She is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University specializing in agribusiness management and finance.  She is also the Chair of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Agribusiness and Director of the Master of Agribusiness Program. Salin teaches managerial economics, land economics, and financial management in the agribusiness programs at the university. 

Salin is a past-chair of the Food Safety & Nutrition Section of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association.  In her capacity as Symposium Co-Chair of the International Food & Agribusiness Management Association, she is organizing the program for the human capital development activities of the 2012 annual meeting in Shanghai ( events/conferences/2012/Default.aspx).  Salin also serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of the World Food Logistics Organization ( and on the Board of Directors of the State of Texas Agricultural Finance Authority. 

Salin grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a degree in political science and history. She then completed a Master of Arts from the University of Virginia in government and foreign affairs. She has professional experience in editorial positions with private industry and the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also served as an international trade analyst at the U.S. International Trade Commission before pursuing a degree in agricultural economics. She received her Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1996, with specialties in agribusiness finance and international trade.   Dr. Salin joined the faculty at Texas A&M in 1996.

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