Daniel A. Sumner is the Frank H. Buck, Jr., Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis and the Director of the University of California, Agricultural Issues Center. He participates in research, teaching, and directs an outreach program related to public issues facing agriculture. He has published broadly in academic journals, books, and industry outlets. His research and writing focuses particularly on the consequences of farm and trade policy on agriculture and the economy.
In 1995, he was honored by the American Agricultural Economics Association for his agricultural policy contributions. In 1996 he and co-authors won the AAEA award for Quality of Research Contribution, and his book series related to national farm policy reform was awarded an Honorable Mention for Quality of Communication.
Prior to beginning his current position in January 1993, Sumner was the Assistant Secretary for Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture where he was involved in policy formulation and analysis on the whole range of topics facing agriculture and rural America — from food and farm programs to trade, resources, and rural development. In his role as supervisor of Agriculture’s economics and statistics agencies, Sumner was also responsible for data collection, outlook and economic research.
From 1978 to 1992 Sumner was a professor in the Division of Economics and Business at North Carolina State University. He spent much of the period after 1986 on leave for government service in Washington, D.C. During 1987-88 he was a Senior Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and was Deputy Assistant Secretary at the USDA from 1990-92.
Sumner was raised on a fruit farm in Suisun Valley, California and was active in 4-H and FFA activities as a youth. He received a bachelors degree in agricultural management from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 1971, a masters degree from Michigan State in 1973, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1978.