• Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings

    EH9 3JG Edinburgh

    United Kingdom

  • West Mains Road, Kings Buildings, Peter Wilson Building

    EH9 3JG Edinburgh

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Steven is a Professor in Agricultural Economics and Policy with 30 years of applied agricultural policy analysis and rural development research.  Steven is heavily involved in supporting the Scottish Government design future fit agricultural policy and build on the principles of conditional direct support. 

His analysis, concept insights, and advice supports Scottish Government policy officials and the Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board through the Scottish Government’s Academic Advisory Panel.  Steven leads a consortium of experts delivering policy support to the Scottish Government through commissioned research, and through an ADAS consortium, he is also engaged in research to support the Welsh Government’s design of their Sustainable Farming Scheme.

Moreover, Steven liaises with a wide range of stakeholders (including Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service), consultants, farmers, crofters and land managers on a wide range of agricultural, land use, land reform and communities policy issues through his SEFARI Gateway knowledge broker role.   

Steven is currently the lead for the Rural Futures theme within the Scottish Government’s Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture - Strategic Research Programme 2022-2027 where he leads research on Rural Economies within SRUC and contributes to additional projects on: Land Reform; Improving Agricultural Practice; and socio-economic and greenhouse gas impacts from Land Use. 

Steven has an interest in adding value to data and his toolbox includes novel use of administrative data to provide insights arising from agricultural and rural policy, system changes, technical performance in cattle (dairy and beef system).  Using insights developed through analysis of official registration and movement data in cattle he is currently supporting the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme Reform Stakeholder Group.



  • Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme 2022-2027
    • RESAS 22-27: SRUC-e1-1 Novel Insights on Scotland's Rural and Island Economies (NISRIE)  (2022 – present; Principle Investigator; c.£320k p.a.)
    • RESAS 22-27: SRUC-b3-1 Ensuring Positive Behavioural Change for Farmers Towards Best Practice for Clean Growth: Economic and Behavioural Investigations. (2022- present; contributor; c.£335k p.a.)
    • RESAS 22-27: SRUC-c3-2 Modelling the Socio-economic, Greenhouse Gas and Natural Capital Impacts of Land Use Policy and Opportunities?. (2022- present; contributor; c. 193k p.a.)
    • RESAS 22-27: SRUC-e3-1 Impacts of Land-based Financial Support Mechanisms on Land Values, Landownership Diversification and Land Use Outcomes (2022- present; contributor; c. £80kp.a.)
  • Provision of Economic Advice and Related Services to Support Development of a New Rural Support Scheme for Scotland (Commissioned Research for RESAS, (2021 – present, c.£100k). Range of analytical and research reports on a variety of topics:
  • ‘Economic analysis of the impact of the Welsh Government’s proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme – Phases 3-5 (Welsh Government - ongoing, value to SRUC, c.£26k)


Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, BSC Agricultural Economics, University of Glasgow


Award Date: 22 Jun 1992

External positions

Advisor, Scottish Government

Aug 2021 → …


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