Published on 12/06/19

Economist William Secor brings a focus on management systems to UGA

By Chad Cain

William Secor, assistant professor at the University of Georgia Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, has built his career by analyzing the big business of small towns.

His studies often connect the larger global and national policy landscape to their impact of individual farmers and farm businesses — from evaluating the impact of a new ethanol plant to projecting the impact of swine flu on Midwestern pork producers.

Secor joined the faculty at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) in August 2019, where he does management marketing research and teaches agribusiness marketing and management, rural economic development and rural growth. Secor values the variety he finds in his work at CAES.

“The opportunity to teach and do research in an academic environment after coming from industry, that was exciting,” Secor said. “This is a great place to be. Our department is doing some exciting things as we look to grow.”

Secor received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in applied economics from Virginia Tech and received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota. He returned to Virginia Tech after graduation and taught before joining the staff of the Purdue University Center for Food and Agricultural Business as an associate director.

He worked in the private sector as an economist for CosBank in Denver, Colorado, before being lured back to academia and the University of Georgia. 

Secor currently has a 55% research and 45% teaching appointment. His research is rooted in the areas of managerial economics, industrial organization, and agribusiness management and marketing.

“During my doctoral research, I did some research in ethanol plant investment, using real options,” Secor said. “At the other end of the agribusiness supply chain, (I am) looking at the impacts of a grocery store merger and that impact on prices, specifically looking at how prices change differently for national brands versus store brands.”

For more information about Secor’s work, visit

Chad Cain is a student writer for the CAES Office of Communications and Creative Services.

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