New director announced for RaFF

Alejandro Plastina joins Mizzou’s Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center from Iowa State University.

Portrait of Plastina, in a blue suit, purple shirt, and dark glasses.

The Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center (RaFF) at the University of Missouri has selected Alejandro Plastina as the center’s new director, starting Sept. 1, 2024. Plastina will join the Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS) faculty as an associate professor within the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri.

“I am thrilled and honored to be named the new director for the Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center (RaFF),” Plastina said. “I will focus on expanding and solidifying the good research, extension and education work of the Center. My ultimate goal is to make RaFF the go-to place for agricultural decision-makers in search of actionable information in the Show-Me State and across the nation.”

Plastina is currently an extension economist in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University, a senior fellow at the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, and a Gamma Sigma Delta (the Honor Society of Agriculture) faculty member. His specialization is agricultural production and technology, emphasizing farm business and financial management.

He serves as associate director of the Iowa State University-Iowa Bankers Association Agricultural Credit School and academic member of the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. He has served as advisor to the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, chair of the Iowa State University Farm Financial Stress Task Force, and chair of the North Central Farm Management Extension Committee.

He was just voted as chair-elect of the Agricultural and Finance Management (AFM) Section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association for 2024-25.

“Dr. Plastina will strengthen DASS in the area of agricultural finance and will provide leadership to one of the important centers in the division,” said Harvey James, DASS division director.

Before joining Iowa State University, Plastina was a senior economist at the International Cotton Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C. He completed his graduate education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an M.S. in Statistics (2005) and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics (2007).

“I am excited about Dr. Plastina’s arrival as he will lead and grow RaFF into a nationally recognized center in the area of agricultural finance and will provide Congress with a new focus on the regional effects of agricultural policy,” said CAFNR Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert.

Funded primarily by Congress, RaFF provides unbiased agricultural analysis to policymakers to help them understand how a policy’s impact varies by region of the country. RaFF’s objective, research-based insights help stakeholders support agricultural and rural economies throughout the U.S. By bringing together regional experts and institutions, RaFF can analyze regional policy research questions customized to each state or region, and the models reflect a locale’s unique characteristics and resources.

“I look forward to getting to know and collaborating with the Mizzou community, pursuing excellence in the discovery process with respect and responsibility to contribute from RaFF and DASS to making the University of Missouri the flagship of the future,” Plastina said.

Plastina can be reached at