Crystal Carpenter

Senior Economist, Specialty Crops

Crystal Carpenter is a senior economist in CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, where she focuses on a range of specialty crop sectors, identifying market trends, risks and opportunities.

Ms. Carpenter brings extensive agricultural economics experience to CoBank, most recently as a vice president in Informa’s agribusiness consulting practice where she undertook market and policy analyses, feasibility studies, and supply/demand and price forecasting studies for a wide variety of agricultural and bioenergy sectors. She earned bachelor’s degrees in both agricultural economics and Spanish from the University of Idaho, graduating magna cum laude, and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Michigan State University.


While the trade war with China claims headlines, India’s tariffs on U.S. exports will soon be felt by producers of apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds and walnuts. 

Global economic growth continues to slide, as tariffs drag on global trade and manufacturing.

The implications of a food recall or advisory can be enormous, and if a company is found to be the source, reputational damage on top of the other costs can be game-ending.

Media coverage would lead one to believe that food safety incidences have been increasing. However, there has not been an increase in food related outbreaks in recent years.

U.S. agriculture is poised for serious challenges for the remainder of 2019.

Interest, innovation, and investment in gene editing tools like CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and TALEN® (transcription activator-like effector nucleases) have heated up in recent years, and will only intensify in 2019.
Agriculture and its farmer cooperatives will face a challenging environment in 2019. Commodity markets have steadied, but resolution of ongoing trade disputes and completion of recently concluded trade negotiations will be critical to restoring optimism for the year ahead.