Lincoln, Neb. —Wes Peterson will serve as the interim head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His appointment is effective April 1.
Peterson succeeds Larry Van Tassell, who is stepping away as department head after more than a decade in the position. Van Tassell will continue to serve as a faculty member in the department.
Peterson, a professor of agricultural economics, joined UNL in 1990. His research has focused on agricultural development, public policy, and international agricultural trade. Additionally, he has taught a wide range of both undergraduate and graduate courses. Peterson, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa in the 1960s, has also led study abroad trips to Africa in 2012, 2014 and 2016. During the COVID-19 pandemic when study-abroad programs were cancelled, he developed a virtual tour of Africa based on videos and Zoom sessions with experts on African culture and agriculture.
Additionally, Kate Brooks, will serve as interim associate department head. Brooks, an associate professor of agricultural economics, joined UNL in 2013. Her research focuses on livestock production economics, agricultural marketing and risk management, price analysis, and consumer food preferences, and she has taught undergraduate and courses. Her appointment also is effective April 1.
Kate Brooks, associate professor in the Agricultural Economics Department.
“I’m grateful to Dr. Peterson and Dr. Brooks for their willingness to lead the department through this transition,” said Mike Boehm, NU Vice President and Harlan Vice Chancellor for UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “I’d also like to convey my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Van Tassell for many years of outstanding leadership.”
UNL will begin a nationwide search for a permanent department head this spring. For more information on UNL’s Agricultural Economics Department, visit agecon.unl.edu.