Skip to main content


Food and Resource Economics Department

Food and Resource Economics Department

Dr. Zhifeng Gao

Professor; Director of Florida Agricultural Market Research Center

Dr. Gao's research and teaching program focus on the fields of market research, consumer behavior, and applied microeconomics with the goal of improving consumer and producer welfare/ This is achieved by determinating consumer demand for food product quality and new market opportunities in food industries, as well as the economic viability and factors affecting adoption of new technologies/practices.  

Dr. Gao's research involves both applied and fundamental studies on the determination and improvement of methods to efficiently elicit consumer preference for food product quality, therefore providing critical market information for the food industry to supply quality food products to consumers. The program also bridges cutting-edge research in agricultural economics and biological sciences with the aim of improving the development of new biological research by providing economic evaluation and determination of grower attitudes toward newly developed technologies and production practices. The ultimate goal of the research is to improve the sustainability of food systems that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable in the long run.

Dr. Gao's teaching includes courses in the area of microeconomics, applied econometrics, and research methods, as well as mentoring graduate students. The teaching effort also focuses on training next-generation applied economists through experiential learning.

  • Research

    DR. GAO'S RESEARCH PROGRAM AIMS TO ENHANCE UNDERSTANDING OF CONSUMER ATTITUDES AND PREFERENCES FOR SELECTED ATTRIBUTES OF FOOD PRODUCTS

    Past and Current Projects (selected)

    1. Improving profitability and environmental stewardship for small and medium farms by identifying new market opportunities (PI)

    2. Adapting and Expanding High Tunnel Organic Vegetable Production for the Southeast, USDA, Organic Research, and Extension Initiative (CO-PI)
    Goals of my part:
    On-farm economic viability of high tunnel for organic vegetable production
    Identify the factor influencing high tunnel adoption among organic growers

    3. Growing New Roots: Grafting to Enhance Resiliency in U.S. Vegetable Industries, USDA, Specialty Crop Research Initiative (CO-PI)
     Goals of my part:
    Develop enterprise budget to evaluate the economic viability under various changing factors
    Develop a customizable decision support tool for on-farm analyses
    Identify and quantify where applicable the impact of on-farm grafting technology adoption on producers and the environment (e.g., pesticide use, sustainable production).

    4. Sustainable organic strawberry (SOS) cropping systems for the southeast, USDA, Organic Research, and Extension Initiative (CO-PI)
    Goals of my part:
    Evaluate consumer preferences for traditional and recently released strawberry cultivars with regard to sensory attributes
    Calculate production costs and potential returns of selected management alternatives based on data from the biological research

  • Teaching

    AEB 6553 -- ELEM OF ECONOMETRICS (REQUIRED FOR ALL MS STUDENTS)

    AEB 7108 -- MICROECON THEORY 2 (REQUIRED FOR ALL Ph.D. STUDENTS)

    AEB 6933 -- Applied Valuation Methods (Ph.D. field elective course)


Images on this website were taken prior to national guidelines of face coverings and social distancing.

Dr. Zhifeng Gao

Contact

1155 MCCA
352-294-7672
zfgao@ufl.edu