In Memoriam: Jimmye S. Hillman (1923-2015)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dr. Jimmye S. Hillman, former head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, passed away from complications of a stroke on June 4th, 2015.

George Frisvold, specialist in agricultural and resource economics, interviewed Dr. Hillman in 2004. An excerpt from this interview is republished here.

Born and raised in rural Mississippi, Dr. Hillman first joined the faculty of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Arizona in 1950, serving as Head of the department from 1961 to 1990. Dr. Hillman's research interests centered on agricultural and trade policies. His most significant work was in the study of nontariff trade barriers. Nontariff barriers are all restrictions other than traditional tariffs or custom duties that restrict international trade. These barriers include embargoes, quarantines, quotas, and regulations for health, environmental, or sanitary purposes that are also used as trade policies. In agriculture, nontariff barriers far surpass traditional tariffs in importance. His two books Nontariff Agricultural Trade Barriers (1978: University of Nebraska Press) and Technical Barriers to Agricultural Trade (1991: Westview Press) have greatly influenced economic thinking on trade policies and remain widely cited texts. Ongoing trade disputes between the United States and the European Union over issues such as "hormone beef" and genetically modified organisms demonstrate the continued relevance of Dr. Hillman's work.

In 1966–67 Dr. Hillman served as the executive director of President Lyndon Johnson's National Advisory Commission on Food and Fiber. The Commission published Food and Fiber for the Future and eight companion volumes that formed the basis of many changes in U.S. farm policy in the 1970s. Among many achievements, Dr. Hillman was President of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) (1970–71), Senior Research Fellow, Jesus College, Oxford University (1972–73), and was named a Fellow of the AAEA in 1982.

Post-retirement, Dr. Hillman remained engaged in the agricultural economics profession. He was an active, guiding voice in the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium. In 2000 he organized a mini-symposium on "Genetically Modified Organisms and Technical Barriers to Trade" at the 24th International Conference of Agricultural Economists in Berlin, Germany and in 2003 served as a topic editor and contributing author for the Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Engineering and Technology Resources published by the UN Educational, Scientifiic, and Cultural Organization.

See the full obituary at the link below.

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