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Our Associates

James J. Ahern, PhD, Associate Consultant, Agricultural Economic Analysis & Market Research

Dr. Ahern has over thirty years experience in the analysis of complex agricultural economic and marketing issues.  Jim uses cutting-edge econometric techniques and analytical tools to provide our clients with useable Meat & Potatoes® market intelligence and agribusiness economic forecasts.  His work covers a broad range of agricultural sectors including the fresh produce, livestock and grain industries. Jim has taught in both the undergraduate and graduate programs of Agribusiness at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo.

Jim's expertise in the design and implementation of quantitative market research tools provides our clients with valuable answers to key questions that can be relied on for sound marketing decisions.  Additionally, his skills and background in economic analysis provide our projects in rural development, market feasibility, and economic forecasting essential insights for decision making and policy formulation.  Jim earned his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland. 

Difang Chen, Senior Trade Associate, Asia Markets

Difang Chen has been actively involved in international agribusiness development and trade for over twenty years. He has successfully established new markets for food and seed commodities throughout East, Southeast, and Central Asia. With a practical understanding of the food and resource supply chain in China, he provides the essential expertise to link qualified buyers with reliable suppliers in that market.

Based in our Seattle office, he regularly travels to East Asia and our affiliate office in Shanghai. Difang holds BA and MA degrees from Shanghai International Studies University and an MA in International Relations from the University of Southern California.

D.W. Block Associates, LLC

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