2022 California Agribusiness Executive Seminar Case Writers

Philip Martin is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis and editor of Rural Migration News. His research focuses on immigration, farm labor, and economic development.

Martin has earned a reputation as an effective analyst who can develop practical solutions to complex and controversial migration and labor issues. In the U.S., he was the only academic appointed to the Commission on Agricultural Workers to assess the effects of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Martin directs projects that examine wages and working conditions on Mexican farms exporting fresh produce to the United States and explore options to streamline the U.S. H-2A program.

Edward McLaughlin is the Robert G. Tobin Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University and, twice, the former David J. Nolan Dean. He received his Ph.D. at Michigan State University. Before his academic appointment, he had extensive international experience, having spent four years in Africa with the Peace Corps, U.S. State Department, the United Nations, and the World Bank. 

Professor McLaughlin’s research interests include retailing strategies, the economics of retailing, and produce marketing. His research appears routinely in academic journals including Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and Journal of Retailing, and he is the author or co-author of three books. He has won many national awards for his research and teaching, including designation as a Weiss Presidential Fellow, Cornell University’s most prestigious award for distinguished teaching. In 2020, he was voted the Outstanding Faculty Member of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Science. Dr. McLaughlin’s work spans the globe: he teaches retailing at Nyenrode, The Netherlands School of Business; at IESEG, Graduate Management School in Lille, France; is Director of the Ahold Delhaize Retail Academy in The Netherlands; and is Dean of the Cornell-Japan Retail Management Program. Professor McLaughlin also serves on the board of directors of several food companies.

Mary L. Shelman is an internationally recognized thought leader, author, and speaker on global agribusiness, AgTech, and food system trends. The former Director of Harvard Business School’s Agribusiness Program, she now works with companies, governments, and investors around the world through her consulting and advisory firm, Shelman Group,based in Boston, Massachusetts. Through Shelman Group, Mary provides unique insights into technology and consumer trends and champions collaboration, industry alignment, and strategic planning to achieve systemwide improvements and create pathways for sustainable growth.

Mary has worked with organizations of all size – from startups to Fortune 500 – as a consultant, strategic advisor, and active board member. In Ireland, she co-created a new unified vision for the Irish agri-food industry which resulted in the introduction of Origin Green, the world’s first country-wide sustainability brand. She has also led several projects focused on short and long-term corporate strategy for privately held agri-food companies and industry associations.

Mary has extensive experience and expertise in Food and AgTech. She chaired the Board of Directors and headed strategy and business development at RiceTec, a privately held integrated genetics/agribusiness venture that is now the largest U.S. rice seed company, from inception to commercial launch. She has mentored many startups, led Village Capital’s food & ag accelerator in 2016/17, and frequently judges AgTech competitions. She is a member of The Kroger Company’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation Advisory Committee and Perfect Day’s Sustainability & Health Advisory Council.

Mary’s commitment to industry leadership through improving human capital brought her to Harvard Business School where she shepherded the renowned HBS Agribusiness Seminar from 2005 to 2016. Her ongoing industry research spans multiple sectors, geographies, and company scopes. She is the author of 70+ case studies on the world’s top agri-food businesses and has taught and given keynote presentations in 20+ countries. Mary served a two-year term as president of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) and was named an IFAMA Fellow in recognition of her service to industry.

A native of Kentucky where she still owns a farm, Mary holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from Harvard Business School.