Katherine Ralston

Katherine Ralston

Senior Economist


Katherine is a Senior Agricultural Economist with the Food Assistance Branch. She conducts research on USDA food assistance programs.


Katherine holds a doctor of philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her master of science from Cornell University and a bachelor of science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professional Affiliations

American Agricultural Economics Association

Selected Publications

Golino, G., Ralston, K., & Guthrie, J. (2021). Participation trends for full price meals in the national school lunch program. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 43(3), 1161–1175.

Turner, L., Guthrie, J., & Ralston, K. (2019). Community eligibility and other provisions for universal free meals at school: Impact on student breakfast and lunch participation in California public schools. Translational Behavioral Medicine 9(5), 931–941.

Turner, L. O’Reilly, N., Ralston K., & Guthrie, J.F. (2019). Identifying gaps in the food security safety net: The characteristics and availability of summer nutrition programmes in California, USA. Public Health Nutrition 22(10), 1824–1838.

Rogus, S., Ralston, K., & Guthrie, J. (2017). Which school districts are using the community eligibility provision to offer free school meals to all their students? Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 49(7), S13–S14.

Guthrie, J., Newman, C., Ralston, K., Prell, M., & Ollinger, M. (2012). Understanding school food service characteristics associated with higher competitive food revenues can help focus efforts to improve school food environments. Childhood Obesity 8(4), 298–303.

Ollinger, M., Ralston K., & Guthrie, J. (2012). Location, school characteristics, and the cost of school meals, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 37(3), 379–397.