Dr. Dawn Thilmany

dawn thilmany picture

Professor – Outreach Coordinator
Extension Economist-Labor & Agribusiness Management

Ph.D.: University of California, Davis

B325 Clark Bldg.

(970) 491-7220


Research Interests:

My research and outreach programs focus on the firm, community and sector-level implications of local, organic and other value-added food differentiation. Recent projects on Colorado apples, bison, wine and agritourism were all helpful in illustrating the motivations and values of consumers, as well as the potential economic contributions and welfare implications of Colorado producers addressing different consumer segments.

In partnership with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, we have continued to explore new marketing strategies, including Colorado Proud programming, Colorado MarketMaker, use of social media and provided training on a variety of these topics. Through Value-Added grants, industry sponsored research and USDA NRI funding, we have completed consumer analyses for natural meats, fresh produce, local wines, agritourism and a variety of foods. Finally, through a Western region partnership, we are doing Building Farmer short courses throughout Colorado and the Intermountain region, which draws on our research on direct markets, and extends that to provide business planning skills targeted at farm, ranch and food operations in that sector.


AREC 308 – Agricultural Finance-Online
AREC 310 – Agricultural Marketing
AREC 325 – Personnel Management in Agriculture
AREC 328 – Small Agribusiness Management
AREC 408 – Agricultural Finance
AREC 408 – Agricultural Finance-Online
AREC 428 – Agribusiness Management
AREC 508 – Agricultural Finance
AREC 530 – Agricultural Marketing, Performance and Consumer Demand
AREC 792A – Advanced Agricultural Economics

Selected Publications, Presentations and Projects:

Peer Reviewed Works

Costanigro, M., D. Thilmany, S. Kroll, and G. Nurse. 2011. An In-Store Valuation of Local and Organic Apples: the Role of Social Desirability. Agribusiness: An International Journal.

Moser, R.R. and D. Thilmany. 2011. Consumer Preferences for Fruit and Vegetables with Credence-Based Attributes: A Review. International Food and Agribusiness Management eview. 14:2:121-141.

Onozaka, Y. and D. Thilmany. 2011. Does Local Labeling Complement or Compete with Other Sustainable Labels? A Conjoint Analysis of Direct and Joint Values for Fresh Produce Claims. American Journal Agricultural Economics. 93:3:689-702.

Onozaka, Y., G. Nurse, and D. Thilmany McFadden. 2011. Defining Sustainable Food Market Segments: Do Motivations and Values Vary by Shoping Locale? American Journal Agricultural Economics. 93:2:583-589.

Sullins, M., D. Moxon, and D. Thilmany McFadden. 2010. Agritourism in Colorado: A Cluster Analysis of Visitors. Journal of Agribusiness.

Onozaka, Y. G. Nurse, and D. Thilmany. 2010. Local Food Consumers: How Motivations and Perceptions Translate to Buying Behavior. Choices . 25:1.

Thilmany McFadden, D., W. Umberger, and J. Wilson. 2009. Growing a Niche Beef Market: A Targeted Marketing Plan for Colorado Homestead Ranches. Review of Agricultural Economics. 31:4:984-998.

Auld, G. and D. Thilmany. 2009. Factors Affecting Small (Colorado) Producers’ Local Food Sales Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 4:1:129-146.

Umberger, W., D. Thilmany McFadden, and A. Smith. 2009. Does Altruism Play a Role in Determining U.S. Consumer Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Natural and Regionally Produced Beef?. Agribusiness: An International Journal. 25:2:266-285.

Keeling-Bond, J., D. Thilmany and C. Bond. 2009. What Influences Consumer Choice of Fresh Produce Purchase Location?Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Watson, P., J. Wilson D. Thilmany, and S. Winter. 2007. Determining Economic Contributions and Impacts: What is the difference and why do we care? The Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy. 37:2.

Keeling-Bond, J., D. Thilmany and C. Bond. 2006. Direct Marketing of Fresh Produce: Understanding Consumer Purchasing Decisions. Choices. 21:4:1-6. Online at http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2006-4/

Wilson, J. and D. Thilmany. 2006. Golfers in Colorado: The Role of Golf in Recreational and Tourism Lifestyles and Expenditures. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing. 20:4.

Thilmany, D., W. Umberger, and A. Ziehl. 2006. Strategic market planning for value-added natural beef products: a cluster analysis of Colorado consumers. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 21:192-203.

Goodwin, Jr., H.L., F.D. Clark, D. Thilmany, and S.J. Hamm. 2006. Policies to Protect Food Safety and Animal Health. Choices. 21:189-193. Online at: http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2006-3/animal/2006-3-animal.pdf

Thilmany, D., N. McKenney, D. Mushinski, and S. Weiler. 2005. Geographic Interdependencies and Regional Base Industries in Rural Retail Markets. Annals of Regional Science. 39:593-605.

Thilmany, D. and P. Watson. 2004. The Increasing Role of Direct Marketing and Farmers Markets for Western US Producers. Western Economics Forum. 3:19-25.

Thilmany, D. 2004. Direct Food Marketing to Restaurants through Existing Farmer’s Market Alliances: The Case of Colorado Crop to Cuisine. Review of Agricultural Economics. 26:404-17.

Thilmany, D. 2004. Agricultural Workers Trends and Issues in the Mountain West. Journal of American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. 49-56.

Padilla-Bernal, L., D. Thilmany and M. Loureiro. 2003. An Empirical Analysis for Market Integration and Efficiency of U.S. Fresh Tomato Markets. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 28:435-450.

Grannis, J., D. Thilmany and E. Sparling. 2003. Regional Demand for Natural Beef Products: Urban vs. Rural Willingness to Pay and Target Customers. Journal of Agribusiness. 21:149-166.

Grannis, J. and D. Thilmany. 2002. Marketing Natural Pork: An Empirical Analysis of Mountain Region Consumers. Agribusiness. 18:475-89.

Selected Papers and Outreach Presentations

Thilmany, McFadden, D. Economic Contributions from a More Localized Food Systems. Coordinator and Moderator. CENET Organized Symposium proposed for 2011 AAEA Annual meetings. Pittsburgh, PA.

Gunter, A., D. Thilmany McFadden and M. Sullins. “Farm to School: Tools to Assess and Evaluate Impacts on Producers and Regions.” Paper presented in Symposium Economic Contributions from a More Localized Food Systems. 2011 AAEA Annual meetings. Pittsburgh, PA.

Thilmany McFadden, D. “Local Food, Organics and Sustainability.” Paper presented in Symposium, The Federal Policy Role In Today\’s Food and Agricultural Markets. 2011 AAEA Annual meetings. Pittsburgh, PA.

Thilmany McFadden, D. “Colorado’s Green, Ag and Processing Industry Employment: Trends and importance to the State.” Invited presentation to the 2011 UC-Davis Immigration Conference. May 2011. Washington, DC.

Thilmany McFadden, D. “Consumer demand and marketing outlets for pasture based livestock products.” Invited paper in session, “Green” Grazing for Enhancing Food and the Environment. America-Soil Science Society of America Annual Meetings. November 2010. Long Beach, CA.

Thilmany, D. “Economic and Policy implications of GMO crops in Sustainable Ag Systems.” Panel member on Boulder County Park and Open Spaces Sustainable Ag Forum panel. November 2010. Longmont CO. 85 in attendance.

Thilmany McFadden, D. “Participatory Food Assessments: Integrating Diverse Perspectives and Building Local Leadership.” Organized session for the 2010 Community Food Security Coalition Annual Meeting. October 2010. New Orleans, LA. (with Wendy Moschetti and Cindy Torres).

Thilmany McFadden, D. “Comparison of Efforts to Establish Local and Regional Food Systems”, as part of the session “Making Local and Regional Food Systems Successful.” With USDA Rural Development. 2010 AAEA Annual Meetings. Denver, CO.

Thilmany McFadden,D. “Unique Characteristics of Direct Market Producers”, as part of the session “Exploring the Interface Between Local Food Systems and Community Economics “. CENET track session. 2010 AAEA Annual Meetings. Denver, CO.

Thilmany McFadden, D., G. Nurse, Y. Onozaka and M. Costanigro. “So you Want to Run an Experiment? Opportunities and Potential Pitfalls.” Presented to the 2009 Food Distribution Research Society. Broomfield, Colorado Locavores and Fresh Produce Markets: Motivations, Shopping Behavior and Potential for Growth. Invited paper for Principal Paper Session: The Growing Market for Local Foods. July 2008. Orlando FL. (with C. Bond and J. Keeling-Bond).

Thilmany, D. “Organic Agriculture in the USDA: Increasing Partnerships within USDA and Among Land Grant and other CSREES Partners” Invited Presentation to the American Tri-Society Meetings. November 2007. New Orleans, LA.

Thilmany, D., G. Schorre, and J. Keeling-Bond. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies More: Who Informs Consumers on Produce Choices and Nutrition. Research Report Submission to the 2007 Food Distribution Research Society meetings. New Orleans, LA. November 2007.

Thilmany, D. “Integrating Economic Questions into Your Research. Invited presentation to the American Plant Pathology Society Meetings. August 2007. San Diego, CA.

Thilmany, D., J. Wilson and M. Sullins. The Contribution of Agritourism to Colorado’s Economy: Initial Results from a Regional Survey. Selected paper for the 2007 Western Agricultural Economics Association meetings. Portland OR July 2007.

Watson, P. and D. Thilmany. Spatial Dependence in Agricultural Sector Financial Performance. Selected Paper presented at the 2007 Western Regional Science Association Annual Meetings. Newport Beach CA. February 2007.

Thilmany, D., J. Keeling-Bond, and C.Bond. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies: What Factors Influence Fresh Produce Shopping Location Choices among Consumers.” Selected paper presented at the 2006 Food Distribution Research Society meetings. Quebec-city, Quebec. October 2006.

Thilmany, D. The Future of Animal Agriculture. Organized Symposium for 2006 Western Agricultural Economics Association meeting. Anchorage AK. June 2006.

Thilmany, D., J. Keeling, C. Stushnoff, P. Kendall, F. Stonaker and M. Bunning. “Potential to Differentiate Nutritionally Superior Produce Cultivars in the Market.” Selected paper for the 2006 Western Agricultural Economics Association meetings. Anchorage AK. June 2006.

Thilmany, D. “Emerging Immigration and Farm Labor Issues in the Mountain West.” Invited paper to Immigration Reform: Implications for Farmers, Farm Workers, and US Agriculture. Washington DC. June 2006.

Thilmany, D. “The Role of Public Research and Outreach in a Maturing Organic Agricultural Sector.” Invited Presentation to the USDA-ERS Food for Thought Seminar Series. June 2006.

Thilmany, D. “Tapping into USDA’s Organic Programs and Services.” Invited paper to All Things Organic, 2006 Organic Trade Exposition. Chicago IL. May 2006.

Wilson, J., P. Ritten and D. Thilmany. “Will you Have Wine with That? Growing the Wine Consumer and Tourist Market in Colorado.” Selected for the 2006 Western Agricultural Economics Association meetings. Anchorage AK. June 2006.

Industry and Education Materials

Thilmany, D. and L. Hoffman. “Northern Colorado Food Assessment: Final Report.” March 2011. Available online at: http://www.larimer.org/foodassessment/report.cfm

AMR 11-04.Costanigro, M. and D. Thilmany McFadden “How Do Consumers Value Apples? A Comparison of Organic and Colorado Proud Labels.” May 2011. 6pp.

AMR11-03. Gunter, A. and D. Thilmany McFadden. AMR11-03. “Developing Values Based Distribution Networks to Enhance the Prosperity of Small and Mid-Size Producers: A Case Study of La Montanita.” May 2011. 10pp.

EDR 10-02. Phillips, M. and D. Thilmany-McFadden. Selling Local: Campaigns to Encourage Local Consumerism. July 2010. 8 pp.AMR 10-01. Phillips, M., D. Thilmany McFadden, and M. Sullins. Possible Roles For Social Networking in Agritourism Development. March 2010. 9ppAMR 09-04. Blandon, S., D. Thilmany McFadden, and Y. Onozaka. Location, Location, Location: Do Production Sources Influence Consumer Perceptions? October 2009. 8 pp.

Raynolds, L., D. Murray, M. Long and D. Thilmany McFadden. “Certification Programs in Action: Market-Based Solutions for a Conscious Consumer Economy.” Report to the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority. September 2009. 58 pp. http://www.downtownfortcollins.org/docs/certification-study.pdf

Blandon, S., D. Thilmany McFadden, and M. Bunning. ARPR 09-02. Impacts of Produce Food Safety Events on Consumer Behavior: Exploring Public Perceptions and Confidence in the Food System. July 2009. 9 pp.

AMR 09-02. Thilmany McFadden, D., C. Thomas, and Y. Onozaka. Who are the Locavores and Where Do They Shop? An Analysis of Fresh Produce Market Choices in the United States. June 2009. 13 pp.

AMR 09-01. Thilmany McFadden, D. and C. Thomas. Farmers Markets and Direct Marketing for Colorado Producers. May 2009. 4 pp.

ALR 09-01. Thilmany McFadden, D., A.Alves Pena, and J. Herdandez. Agricultural Labor in Colorado: Has Recent Immigration and Labor Policy Resulted from Colorado\’s Employment Trends? April 2009. 6 pp.

ARPR 09-01. Thilmany McFadden, D.. Horticulture, Organics, and Small Farm Provisions in the Farm Bill January 2009. 13 pp.

EDR 07-17. M. Sullins, and D. Thilmany. Agritourism in Colorado: A Closer Look at Regional Trends. July 2007. 9 pp.

EDR 07-16. D. Thilmany, M. Sullins, and A. Ansteth. Colorado’s Agritourists: Who are the Adventurers, the Seekers and the Explorers?. July 2007. 9 pp.

EDR 07-15. D. Thilmany, M. Sullins, and A. Ansteth. Of Wine and Wildlife: Assessing Market Potential for Colorado Agritourism. June 2007. 8 pp.

ABMR 07-02. D. Thilmany. Effective Assisting Direct Marketing Procedures: What is the Role of Cooperative Extension and Government Outreach Professionals. March 2007. 4 pp.

EDR- 06-08. D. Thilmany, P. Watson, and G. Kress. The Economic Contribution of the Colorado Wine Industry May 2006. 10 pp.

ABMR 06-01. Thilmany, D. The US Organic Industry: Important Trends and Emerging Issues for the USDA. April 2006. 9pp.

EDR 06-01. Wilson, J., D. Thilmany and M. Sullins. Agritourism: A Potential Economic Driver in the Rural West. February 2006. 8 pp.

ABMR 05-01. D. Thilmany Planning and Developing a Farmers Market: Marketing, Organizational and Regulatory Issues to Consider February 2005. 8 pp.

PFM-05-01. Josh Wilson and Dawn Thilmany. Enterprise Budgeting: An Application to San Luis Valley Grass-Fed Cattle Operations. February 2005. 4 pp.

EDR- 04-13. Executive Summary: The Golf Industry in Colorado September 2004. 2 pp. (with P. Watson, S.P. Davies and J. Wilson)

AMR 04-01. Consumer Response to Beef due to the December 2003 BSE Incident in the US.

EDR 04-01. The Economic Contribution of Colorado’s Green Industry. (with S. Davies and P. Watson). March 2004.

Base Appointment:

Resident Instruction, Research, and Outreach