COLLEGE STATION - Dr. John P. Nichols has been appointed head of the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University.
Nichols, a professor of agribusiness and food marketing, has been interim department head since 2005 and has served in a number of academic and administrative roles throughout his 38-year career at Texas A&M.
“We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Nichols lead the department of agricultural economics,” said Dr. Elsa Murano, vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M. “John has an extensive career in both research and teaching. That experience will help build our reputation of producing some of the brightest graduates from one of the most highly recognized agricultural economics departments in the country.”
Nichols’ research and teaching interests have focused on marketing management techniques and how they improve food and agribusiness marketing systems.
A founding member of the Texas Agricultural Market Research Center, he has conducted numerous research projects assessing the marketing strategies of producer organizations and their participation in value-added business opportunities.
Nichols helped found the Institute of Food Science and Engineering and the recently established department of nutrition and food science where he currently serves as an adjunct professor. He is also a member of the graduate faculty of food science and of the intercollegiate faculty of agribusiness.
“Serving the faculty, staff, students and the many external stakeholders of this large and diverse department is truly an exciting opportunity,” Nichols said. “We are facing unprecedented opportunities where the application of economics and business analysis is critical to examining private investments and public policies from agriculture and food to biofuels and energy needs, from water resources to global climate change.”
Over the past 25 years Nichols has also been active in international programs relating to food and agribusiness research and education, receiving more than $10 million in grants and contracts addressing marketing of fortified food products, to the development of agribusiness teaching programs in the transition economies of eastern Europe, Russia and Armenia.
Nichols is a Fellow of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association and is a member of its executive committee. He has been advisor and consultant to ministries, food and agribusiness firms, and NGOs in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Nichols has also been active in many local service, cultural and civic organizations and currently serves on the College Station Planning and Zoning Commission.
He earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate from Cornell University, and his master’s degree from Michigan State University.