Rob Fox

Director, Knowledge Exchange

Rob Fox

Rob Fox is director of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange research division. He leads the team of economists that produces market and industry research in the agricultural and infrastructure sectors affecting the rural economy. 

Prior to joining CoBank, Mr. Fox spent 13 years in food and agribusiness commercial banking. He has over 25 years of experience in a wide array of agriculture-related roles, in both private industry and the public sector. He started his career as an agricultural economist with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, and later became a farm business management specialist with the University of Wisconsin Extension Service. Mr. Fox and his wife, Jennifer, also owned and operated a 125-cow dairy farm in western Wisconsin. 

Mr. Fox earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of California, Davis. 

Recent Reports

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The Slowdown-Resistant Economy
July 2023

Despite predictions for a slowdown, the U.S. economy remains the envy of the world. Jobs are plentiful, asset values are near all-time highs, and consumers are spending

Higher Food Inflation, Slowing Economy Dampen Dairy Demand
May 2023

Average U.S. mailbox milk prices have dropped more than $6.00/cwt since peaking last May. While milk supply here and in Europe has been edging marginally higher since late 2022, we would argue that the price decline is largely due to broader economic factors that are limiting dairy demand both in the U.S. and abroad. 

Adapting to a Slowing Economy
April 2023

Effects from higher interest rates are permeating rural industries

Inflation is Beginning to Loosen its Grip
January 2023

The war in Ukraine and inflation will remain the two biggest factors for commodity
markets in the first half of 2023. 

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2023
December 2022

The Russia-Ukraine war, surging inflation, and an energy crisis joined the COVID-19 pandemic this year as major events defining the operating environment for U.S. companies. We can expect to feel the aftershocks in 2023. 

The Quarterly: Inflation Abundance, Commodity Shortage
October 2022

Despite ongoing impacts from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and lingering supply chain
effects from the pandemic, the U.S. economy remains incredibly resilient.

CoBank Quarterly: Clouds are Forming
July 2022

Fears of higher rates and weakening economic conditions
linger over the year’s second half.

Food Manufacturers’ Surprise Profitability Set to Continue, High Prices Will Test Consumers
February 2022

For the first time in perhaps decades, food inflation is garnering headlines and sending government policymakers scrambling for quick solutions.

The Quarterly: Omicron Upends Supply Chain Recovery
January 2022

Against all hope for a better start to 2022, omicron has crashed the New Year’s party. Renewed supply chain disruptions are being felt throughout the economy, causing empty shelves again and threatening to fan the flames of inflation.

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2022
December 2021

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus is still in control of the economy.

The Quarterly: Adapting to Persistent Supply Disruptions
October 2021

Businesses of all sizes and across most industries are wrestling with perhaps the worst supply chain bottlenecks to date

The Quarterly: A Long Tail—Pandemic After-Effects are Just Beginning
July 2021

The long-awaited period of pent-up, exuberant demand is here. And for all the benefits to businesses and consumers, bumps are unavoidable – labor shortages, price inflation, supply chain disruptions, and uncertainty about what a new steady-state economy will look like. They loom large, even as we celebrate a return to normalcy.