Parsons selected as new Center for Agricultural Profitability director

Jay Parsons was selected in April as the new director of the Center for Agricultural Profitability at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

May 30, 2024

3 Min Read

Jay Parsons was selected in April as the new director of the Center for Agricultural Profitability at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, following the retirement of Larry Van Tassell, who served as the center’s director since its inception in July 2021.

Parsons, a professor and extension farm and ranch management specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics, joined the university as an associate professor in 2014. He also serves as Nebraska Extension’s agricultural profitability program area leader.

The Center for Agricultural Profitability (CAP) is based in the Department of Agricultural Economics. It facilitates interdisciplinary faculty research and outreach to serve agricultural producers and agribusiness professionals with educational programs and information to keep Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers financially healthy.

Parsons said he is looking forward to building on the momentum the center has achieved in the last three years by continuing to focus on reaching Nebraska’s agricultural stakeholders with information that helps keep the state’s farms and ranches on solid financial footing.

“The center is going to keep working to bring together resources from across the University of Nebraska, as well as outside agencies and other universities, to help producers and professionals who work with them to have more confidence and clarity in making the many important decisions impacting their farm or ranch business,” he said.

Parsons began his career as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Colorado State University, where he earned a Ph. D in Agricultural and Resource Economics in 2003, moving to the same department that year. Between 2009 and 2014, he served as co-director of the Western Center for Integrated Resource Management at Colorado State. In 2002, helped co-found the RightRisk Education Team, a multi-state educational effort allowing him the opportunity to work with producers and colleagues throughout North America to better understand risk and decision-making in agriculture.

“In its first three years, the Center for Agricultural Profitability has fulfilled a critical role in providing current, research-based, holistic information that helps guide producers in making important decisions for their operations,” said Mike Boehm, NU vice president and Harlan Vice Chancellor for UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Dr. Parsons is a talented economist who understands how important resources like the ones CAP provides are and will continue to be. I am thrilled he will serve as the next director of this center.”

Parsons noted that the center’s outreach, including weekly webinars, regular in-person workshops, decision tools, frequent publications and multimedia content, has already provided a solid foundation to build on.

“CAP is still relatively new, and we see opportunities to continue confronting modern challenges that agriculture is facing, helping producers find solutions to not only be successful now, but to ensure their operations are viable for generations to come,” he said. “We will continue to meet producers where they are to equip them with new education and tools to find that success.”

Parsons teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Agricultural Economics and conducts research in the areas of production economics, risk management, decision analysis, farm and ranch management and more. He has served on committees in the Agricultural Economics Department and the Center for Grassland Studies.

“Dr. Parsons has been a valued and active faculty member in the department for a decade now, effectively serving students on campus and ag producers and industry across the state through his extension work,” said Kate Brooks, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics. “CAP is a big part of the department and Dr. Parsons’ knowledge, skills and leadership abilities make him a great choice to lead the center going forward.”

More information about the Center for Agricultural Profitability is available on its website,

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