David Anthony Hennessy

David Anthony  Hennessy
  • Elton R. Smith Endowed Chair
  • Established through gifts from alumni and friends in honor of Elton R. Smith
  • Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics


David A. Hennessy is the Elton R. Smith Endowed Chair in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at the College of Agriculture and Natural Science. His areas of expertise include animal health management, cropping systems and technology adoption, land use, applied microeconomic theory, and behavior economics in agriculture.

Hennessy earned his BS and MS in agricultural science from University College, Dublin and his PhD in Economics from Iowa State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Michigan State University, he held positions at Iowa State University and Washington State University. A production economist by training, his work has centered on how on-farm production choices and production formats are affected by agricultural and environmental policies, technical innovation, financial markets and risk management arrangements, as well as such external risks as food safety and disease breakdowns. His areas of interest include both crop and animal agriculture.

His recent research projects have emphasized land use choices in the Midwest and Northern Great Plains, behavioral economic dimensions to crop insurance choices, the geography of crop yield distributions, the effect of weather and climate on crop yields, and biosecurity and animal disease management program design.