On the Farm - Born in Michigan, Ed was raised on a southwest Minnesota farm that is adjacent to the one owned by his Dutch immigrant grandparents, Cornelius and Marie Antoinette Rylaarsdam. More than 100 years later, both farms are in the hands of second- and third-generation Rylaarsdams.
On his own farm, Ed rents crop land and pasture to local farmers, has land in CRP, is finishing up a pasture improvement project through the Soil Conservation Service and is part owner of a local wind project.
In the World - Ed landed in Brazil with the US Army in 1968--he was 18 years old. Two years there, a year in Vietnam, two years in Peru working on a USAID project and multiple consulting trips to Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Barbados have given Ed a broad view of the world, its governments, its people and its cultures. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
In the Classroom - Since 2005, Ed has been a professor of economics at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN, but has taught at many of the higher ed institutions in and around the Twin Cities. In his 30 years as a teacher, he's had the priviledge of educating thousands of students.
Before he stood at the head of the classroom, he spent time at the University of Minnesota where he got a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies and a master's degree in agricultural economics.
At the Podium - Ed has spoken to groups large and small about a wide range of issues. In 2007 and 2008, he presented a popular series of lectures as a run-up to the presidential election. Find out more about how to hire Ed as a speaker.
On the Job - For most of the 1990s, Ed was the regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, where his chief responsibility was to write that Bank's portion of the infamous "beige book." In 1998 he left the Fed to begin writing Real World Economics.
At Home - A do-it-yourselfer and acknowledged dumpster diver, Ed hopes to spend more time welding in the near future. He lives with his wife, Victoria Tirrel, in the Saint Anthony Park neighborhood of Saint Paul.