Dr. Ron Rainey is a professor with the University Of Arkansas Division Of Agriculture, located in Little Rock. He currently works as an economist within the Agriculture Economics and Agribusiness Department. His academic background includes a Ph.D. in economics (2001), M.S. in agricultural economics (1993), and a B.S. in agribusiness (1991) all from the University of Arkansas.
As an economist, Rainey works with all segments of the food system including growers, processors and wholesale/retail companies within Arkansas, and throughout the Southeast region. He provides leadership through collaboration with industry stakeholders and leaders throughout the state serving on the board of directors for Arkansas Farmers’ Market Association and the Arkansas State Horticulture Society. On the national level, he actively participates in the Food Distribution and Research Society (FDRS) where he is the current president.
His programmatic area is business planning and management of horticultural firms with emphasis on marketing. MarketMaker is an online marketing resource linking all the players of the food systems from producers to consumers. Rainey is project director for Arkansas’ MarketMaker project and is active with MarketMaker’s national leadership team. Rainey spends significant time enhancing Arkansas direct marketing systems through work with MarketMaker and resources to develop farmers’ markets. He was one of leaders to help establish the Arkansas Farmers’ Market Association.
He has worked with the University for almost 20 years. He is the past president of the U of A Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Alumni Society; Capital Chapter, the second largest alumni chapter; and the Arkansas Alumni Association’s National Board, ex-officio. He lives in Little Rock with his wife, Jenel, and 5-year-old daughter, Marlee.