John J. VanSickle




  • AEB 3315 - Marketing and Risk Management: As part of this course a futures and options trading simulator was developed in 2002 that has been used in classes throughout the world that gives students an opportunity to trade contracts with real time data without the risk of losing real money.


  • AEB 6225 - Agricultural Policy: A required course for all MS and MAB graduate students.  As part of this class students were exposed to all aspects of the Farm Bill and the economics behind the decisions on the policies in the Farm Bill. The students were also exposed to domestic and international policies that affect international trade and the environment.

Graduate Internship Coordinator

I have served as Graduate Internship Coordinator for MAB students to help them develop experiences that will allow them to use their course work to develop a better understanding of agribusiness management.

Graduate Student Committees

I have served on 42 master's level committees (29 as committee chair) and 14 PhD committees (10 as chair or co-chair).

Research and Extension Programs


My research and extension programs develop materials for the agricultural industry that may be used by growers, shippers and other members of the marketing system. I have produced umerous manuscripts to communicate information to those within the agricultural industry. I have also performed presentations to academic and industry groups throughout the U.S. and in many foreign countries. Several program areas have been developed to contribute this program.

Market News

Market news was a focus on which many within the agricultural industry have benefited. Market Information Systems (MIS) were developed for computer access to a database of all USDA market news by UF/IFAS state and county specialists. A feasibility study was completed to help USDA implement a computer based market information system for data they collect in the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. These systems have grown and become important elements on which the marketing system for agriculture has relied on to become more efficient.  These efforts earned the Southern Agricultural Economics Association and the American Agricultural Economics Association Distinguished Extension Program Awards in 1987.

International Trade

Work in the area of international trade has also been important for fresh fruit and vegetable growers. Significant work has been done in assessing global competition in agriculture. USDA funded several projects for assessing global competition. Information was developed to help industry participants and policy makers understand trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and World Trade Organization (WTO) and their potential impacts agriculture. Assistance was given to the U.S. vegetable and cattle sectors in applications to the International Trade Commission for relief from imports.  Information was developed to help policy makers understand the potential impacts of their decisions on agriculture. USDA Secretary Glickman recognized this work by presenting me with the 1998 Award for Superior Service, the highest honor given by USDA to public servants.

International Development Projects

I have participated in several international development projects in the Latin America and Africa. We have hosted meetings in these countries to collect data to assess the competitiveness of these countries in marketing selected specialty crops in the U.S. and other foreign destinations. This involved making several presentations in the host countries and in collecting data from growers participating in the studies. I have also served as the lead trainer for several groups of Egyptian producers to teach them how to evaluate foreign markets and how to develop these foreign markets for products they grow.

International Policy Development

I led a USDA Borlaug Fellows Agricultural Policy Leadership course for 2 high ranking policy makers from Kazakhstan and 2 high ranking policy makers from Ukraine in 2010. The project involved providing 1 week of leadership training in policy making at the University of Florida and then taking the group to Washington, D.C. where they were exposed to different groups of analysts and policy makers involved in agricultural policy.

Risk Management

Risk management has become a critical element for agribusiness management in a global environment. FACTSim, an online trading simulator for futures and options was developed to help growers and managers understand and manage risk. FACTSim has become the premier training tool in University classrooms and in extensions audiences across the U.S. Crop insurance has also become a critical tool for managing risk in agricultural operations and I have helped USDA develop policies that can be used by agricultural producers and have evaluated several other policies that have been proposed. As part of this overall program area, I have developed tools to help growers understand risk and how they can manage that risk. These same tools have helped policy makers understand risk and the impact that policy can have on agricultural producers.