Sarah Low speaking at a podiumSarah A. Low is an associate professor of regional economics and holds the Fred V. Heinkel Chair in Agriculture within the Division of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Missouri, where she is currently on research leave. She was the inaugural director of the Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center (RaFF), which is closely aligned with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at University of Missouri. Previously, she directed MU Extension’s Regional Economic and Entrepreneurial Development program, Exceed.


Areas of Expertise

    • Rural and regional economic development
    • Rural and farm policy
    • Spatial analysis
    • Entrepreneurial studies


Research Interests

Sarah conducts research, teaching and outreach in several areas related to agricultural and rural development policy in the U.S. Those fields include broadband internet access and adoption, business dynamics and survival, financial capital availability, value-added agriculture, spatial analysis and entrepreneurship as a rural economic development strategy.

Graduate Student Advising

Sarah Low and four grad studentsSarah enjoys mentoring and advising. She’s pictured with Martha Bass, graduate student in rural sociology, and Quyen Nguyen, Maria Kuhns, and Tuka Bekee, graduate students in agricultural and applied economics. She advised these students at the 2019 Applied Economics, Regional and Urban Studies Midwest Graduate Student Summit.


More about Sarah

Sarah Low receiving plaqueSarah grew up in rural Scotland and dreamed of living in the U.S., where she envisioned that hard work—combined with hope and economic mobility—could get you anywhere you wanted to go. Adolescent experiences cemented her interest in improving rural livelihoods through research and policy. Her first job after graduate school was in the economic research division at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, as part of their Center for the Study of Rural America, seemingly a dream-come-true.

Outside of the university, Sarah has served on the Southern Regional Science Association council and for the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, as chair Community and Regional Economics Network (CRENET). She is an External Research Associate with Colorado State University’s Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI) Sarah Low training her sheepdog Bruceand a volunteer with USDA Economic Research Service. She also sat on the City of Columbia’s Broadband Business Planning Task Force.

Outside of work, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark, and their son on the water. She also enjoys training and competing with her Belgian Sheepdogs, Bruce and Wendy.