Agriculture News

March 16, 2020

Downey selected as leader of Purdue’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –  W. Scott Downey, Purdue University professor of agricultural economics, has been named director of Purdue’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business.

Downey previously served as the center’s associate director and coordinator of undergraduate education in the Department of Agricultural Economics. He will assume the position immediately.

“Scott Downey is eminently qualified to lead the Center for Food and Agricultural Business, having served in management roles in industry and as associate director of the center,” said Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics. “Dr. Downey has been a key part of numerous center programs over the years, and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the center staff to provide world-class executive outreach and education to the agribusiness community.”

The center designs and delivers educational resources for various business topics and concepts specifically tailored to the food and agribusiness industry. These resources are provided through these key initiatives: professional development programs and workshops; the Master of Science-Master of Business Administration in Food and Agribusiness Management program, a dual-degree program partnership with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business; and applied agribusiness research. The director provides strategic direction for the center, teaches in center seminars and workshops and interacts with food and agribusiness industry professionals.

Downey earned his bachelor’s degree from Purdue, followed by his master’s degree in business administration from California Polytechnic State University. He spent 15 years in the financial services industry before returning to Purdue to complete a Ph.D. in consumer behavior.

Downey is the lead author of “ProSelling: A Professional Approach to Selling in Agriculture and Other Industries” and a frequent speaker and consultant for agribusiness industry sales teams. He created a discovery process that has been adopted by Fortune 300 companies and presented around the globe. Downey is a fellow of the Purdue Teaching Academy.

 “Teaching and engaging with students and agribusiness professionals have been my honor and passion for the last several years,” Downey said. “The center connects those pursuing professional growth with innovative solutions to both current and future challenges. I am proud to work with a team that has assisted agribusinesses in the U.S. and around the world for over three decades, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue enhancing the industry through the center’s mission and vision for years to come.”

The Center for Food and Agricultural Business is housed within Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics. Committed to being the agribusiness industry’s partner of choice for professional development, advanced degree programs and applied research, the center aids industry professionals in navigating the complex agri-food system. Programs combine applied research with real-world application specific to the industry. Learn more from the center’s blogs, Purdue Food and Agribusiness Quarterly Review publication or

Writer/Media Contact: Torrie Sheridan, 765-496-6032,

Sources: Jayson Lusk, 765-494-4191,

Scott Downey, 765-494-4325,

Agricultural Communications: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Department Head,  

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