When it comes to farming, many Americans still picture a big, red barn and man in overalls walking behind his horse, plowing the field. Meanwhile, others think of farm animals being abused and mistreated by modern industrial farmers.


The reality falls somewhere in between.


“The result is a brewing controversy between animal activist groups, farmers and consumers that is currently being played out in ballot boxes, courtrooms and in the grocery store,” reads “Compassion By The Pound.” “Where is one to turn for advice when deciding whether to pay double the price for cage-free eggs?”


The book, written by Bailey Norwood, associate professor in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, attempts to use economics to fill in some of the blanks in the animal welfare debate. Norwood believes it was this book that caught the eye of vettechcolleges.com, which named him among the Top 20 Influential Farm Animal Veterinary Professors.


“I am particularly pleased, and surprised, with the honor because it isn’t really my field,” he said. “I am an agricultural economist, not an animal scientist, vet professor, zoologist or the like.”


Co-authored by Jayson Lusk, OSU Ag Econ Regents professor, “Compassion By The Pound,” took the researchers down a new and exciting path than they are used to.


“My co-author and I tried to capture all aspects of the farm animal welfare debate, which took us into the areas normally occupied by animal scientists,” he said. “Doing so was a lot of work, but making this list of 20 professors makes it well worth it.”