About me

Jayson Lusk

photo by Karen Lemley




I currently serve as Distinguished Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University.  After earning a B.S. in Food Technology from Texas Tech University in 1997, I received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University in 2000.  My first job out of graduate school was as an assistant professor at Mississippi State University, where I stayed for three years before moving to Purdue University as an Associate Professor.  In 2005, I moved to Oklahoma State University where I served as Regents Professor and held the Willard Sparks Endowed Chair.  In 2011, my family and I lived in Paris while I served as a visiting researcher at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and worked on a research fellowship awarded by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.  

I am a food and agricultural economist who studies what we eat and why we eat it. Since 2000, I’ve published more than 220 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals on a wide assortment of topics ranging from the economics of animal welfare to consumer preferences for genetically modified food to the impacts of new technologies and policies on livestock and meat markets to analyzing the merits of new survey and experimental approaches eliciting consumer preferences.  I’ve been listed as one of the most prolific and cited food and agricultural economists of the past two decades in a variety of outlets including here, here, here, here, and here, won numerous research awards, given hundreds of lectures for businesses, nonprofits, trade industry organizations, and universities in the US and abroad, have been interviewed or published editorials in outlets such as the New York TimesWall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and have made TV appearances on Fox and Friends, the John Stossel Show, Varney & Co., and Wall Street Journal Live, among others.  I’ve served on the editorial councils of eight academic journals including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and Food Policy and consulted for various nonprofits, government agencies, and agribusinesses.  I’ve also been elected to and served on the executive committees of the three largest U.S. agricultural economics associations. I am a fellow of the Western Agricultural Economics Association and a fellow and past president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

In 2007, I co-authored a book on experimental auctions (a consumer research method) with Jason Shogren published by Cambridge University Press and co-authored an undergraduate textbook on agricultural marketing and price analysis with Bailey Norwood published by Prentice-Hall.  In 2011, I released a book co-authored with Norwood on the economics of farm animal welfare published by Oxford University Press and also co-edited (with Jutta Roosen and Jason Shogren) the Oxford Handbook on the Economics of Food Consumption and Policy.  My first trade book, The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto about the Politics of Your Plate, was published by Crown Forum in 2013.  My most recent book Unnaturally Delicious:  How Science and Technology are Serving Up Super Foods to Save the World was published by St. Martin's Press in 2016.   

I currently live in West Lafayette, Indiana with my wife and two sons.