UACES Facebook Ahrendsen receives USDA Economists Group Bruce Gardner Award
skip to main content

Ahrendsen receives USDA Economists Group Award

April 21, 2023

By John Lovett
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station

Fast facts

  • Bruce Ahrendsen named 2022 recipient of USDA Economists Group award
  • Award recognizes non-U.S. Department of Agriculture employees
  • Ahrendsen known as one of nation’s foremost experts on agricultural finance

(477 words)

Download related PHOTO

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Bruce Ahrendsen, an agricultural economist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, was recently presented the Bruce Gardner Award by the USDA Economists Group for his innovative work.

Bruce Ahrendsent behind a podium with U.S. Department of Agriculture seal
AG ECON AWARD — Bruce Ahrendsen, professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness for the University of Arkansas System, speaks before receiving an award from the USDA Economists Group in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy USDA Economists Group)

The Bruce Gardner Award has been presented by the USDA Economists Group to a visiting economist since 2008. Ahrendsen is the first recipient of the award from an Arkansas institution.

Research undertaken by Ahrendsen provided technical guidance and support to the underlying development of a time-saving U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency application process, the USDA Economists Group stated in a news release. Ahrendsen also pioneered an analysis of Farm Service Agency primary loan servicing, which laid the groundwork for more recent efforts to improve the loan structuring process, the release added.

Ahrendsen also continues to conduct research to address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as further analysis of primary loan servicing.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture held a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on March 27 to recognize Ahrendsen and other USDA Economist Group award recipients. The Bruce Gardner Award recognizes non-USDA individuals who have provided “substantial and significant service toward the improvement of U.S. Department of Agriculture programs and policies.”

“Dr. Ahrendsen is an internationally respected expert in agricultural finance,” John Anderson, head of the agricultural economics and agribusiness department, said. “We are fortunate to have him as a senior member of the agricultural economics and agribusiness department here at the University of Arkansas working on behalf of Arkansas stakeholders. It is very gratifying to see his significant and ongoing contributions to this vital sector of the agricultural economy recognized with this prestigious award.”

The department’s faculty have joint appointments in the Division of Agriculture and the University of Arkansas’ Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

Ahrendsen teaches courses in Bumpers College and conducts research through the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“Ahrendsen is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on Farm Service Agency lending and has made numerous contributions over his career which have advanced the general knowledge and understanding of both Farm Service Agency direct and guaranteed lending programs,” according to the USDA Economists Group statement. “An analysis of program effectiveness is still considered a standard for assessing borrower outcomes.”

The USDA Economists Group is a voluntary organization based at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. However, it has no formal affiliation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and receives no funding or endorsement from the government agency.

To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk. To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


# # #

Media Contact: John Lovett
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station
(479) 763-5929