Todd M. Schmit

Todd M. Schmit

  • Professor
  • Faculty Director, Agribusiness and Rural Development Program
  • Faculty Director, Cooperative Enterprise Program

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Interdisciplinary Theme

Faculty Expertise

  • Food Systems
  • Rural Development
  • Agribusiness
  • Cooperatives
  • Regional Economics


Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management


Cornell Directory Entry


Todd Schmit’s research surrounds agribusiness management and domestic agricultural economic development. The majority of his research focuses on identifying strategies to improve agribusiness performance and the consideration of agriculturally based inter-industry linkages to enhance the efficacy of policies targeted to rural development. In particular, he considers how alternative management and marketing practices by agribusiness firms affect firm performance and how performance can be improved through the adoption of alternative business structures and strategies. Linkages between firm performance, industry development, and how various firm, spatial, and market factors interact are explicitly considered. He also considers how a better understanding of firm behavior and market conditions leads to more effective agricultural industry development policies. The importance of localized inter-industry linkages and spatial characteristics (market, physical, and sociodemographic) are explicitly considered to better understand the efficacy of place-based development policies and why more general policies can lead to differential outcomes at local levels. Areas of expertise include local & regional food systems performance, cooperative business management & governance, and agricultural rural development.

Dr. Schmit’s research involves analyses that not only have a disciplinary focus, but also facilitate effective outreach as a supporting role to his extension programming. The majority of his programming focuses on delivering trainings and resource materials to practitioners that develop new skill sets to improve firm performance (directed to farms, cooperatives, and other agribusinesses) and to improve the efficacy of policies and strategies targeted to rural development (directed to public policy and economic development officials). He leads two major extension programs: the Cornell Agribusiness and Rural Development Program (ARDP) and the Cornell Cooperative Enterprise Program (CEP). His efforts involve major educational programming events each year, but they also facilitate effective dissemination of his research through multiple outlets. In so doing the extension programs effectively link with and are mutually supportive to my research areas of expertise. His research is intentionally focused on extension stakeholder issues and that have practical significance and application at firm and policy levels. In this way, his research informs and is informed by his extension programming activity.

Selected Publications

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Public Service through Economics Award (2022) Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association
  • Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Advising Award (2019) Cornell University
  • Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program Award, Honorable Mention (2017) Agricultural & Applied Economics Association
  • Friend of Extension Award (2016) NYS Association of County Agricultural Agents
  • Friend of CCE Tioga County Extension Award (2016) CCE – Tioga County, NY

Recent Courses

  • AEM 3260/AEM 5260 - Cooperative Business Management
  • AEM 3290/FDSC 3290 - International Agribusiness Study Trip

Academic Degrees

  • PhD Cornell University, 2003
  • MS Cornell University, 1994
  • BS University of Wisconsin, River Falls, 1990