Wes Harrison

Wes Harrison
Department Chair

Professional Profile

Dr. Harrison serves as Chair of the Department of Community and Leadership Development (CLD) in the College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment at the University of Kentucky. Before joining CLD, he served on the faculty at Louisiana State University for twenty-two years, where he held the Warner L. Bruner Endowed Professorship and also served as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness. He received a BS in business administration from the University of Florida, MS in agricultural economics from Clemson University, and Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Harrison’s research and teaching programs have focused on local food systems, consumer demand and confidence in their food, and food system development. More specifically, global food security, food deserts and childhood health, wellness and obesity among underserved populations are areas of interest.

Community outreach and industry engagement experiences includes partnering with community and business leaders in planning and implementing educational programs related to executive and leadership development in the agriculture and food sector. Dr. Harrison’s international experience includes food industry development in Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Dr. Harrison has served as the President of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, and the Food Distribution Research Society.


Ph.D. | Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky, 1994.

M.S. | Agricultural Economics, Clemson University, 1988.

B.S. | Business Administration and Marketing, University of Florida. 1982.

Areas of Interest

Corporate Social Responsibility, Food Security and Accessibility, Health, Wellness and Obesity, Local Food Systems