EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The Michigan State University Board of Trustees honored an agricultural economics professor with the University Distinguished Professor.

Professor Scott Swinton from the department of agricultural, food and resource economics received the award which honors faculty members whose achievements have garnered national and international recognition, have superior teaching skills and an impressive record of public service and scholarly achievements.

“Scott is a role model for others in our college. His dedication to students, his colleagues and his college are exemplary,” said Ron Hendrick, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “We are a better college and university because of Scott’s contributions.”

Swinton’s research focuses on how to create better-performing agricultural systems. He concentrates on crop pest, pollination and nutrient management, economic and environmental impacts, technology and teaching. He has worked in Latin America and Africa on agriculture and natural resource management.

The Spartan professor’s credits include being an author of over 90 journal articles, editing three books, writing 25 book chapters, and contributing to two National Academies of Science volumes. He has also advised nearly 30 graduate students and received approximately $4.5 million in external and internal grant funding.

Swinton is involved in many professional organizations, including the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), of which he is outgoing past president. During his tenure with AAEA, Swinton lead the creation of a new publication on teaching resources in applied economics, worked on initiatives to better reach and include women and minorities, and helped implement a professional code of conduct and anti-harassment policy.

“I like to work on research that makes a difference,” said Swinton. “That’s the fundamental idea in the land grant system, that we’re not just kind of doing research and education because it’s interesting, but we’re doing it because it helps improve people’s lives.”

Swinton said the most rewarding part of his work is collaborating with others to create change.