Rick Weldon, Professor

Dr. Richard Weldon is a professor in the Department of Food and Resource Economics (FRE) in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Florida. Raised on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, Dr. Weldon earned a BS degree in agricultural business management from Pennsylvanian State University, an MS degree in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University and a PhD in applied economics from the University of Minnesota. Following graduation from the University of Minnesota in 1988 he joined the University of Florida and currently has a 70% teaching and a 30% research appointment

He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in agribusiness financial accounting, agribusiness financial management and risk management. From 1996 to 2001 and from 2010 -2014 he served as Undergraduate Coordinator of the FRE Department.

The primary focus of his research is in comprehensive risk management at the firm level, particularly as it relates to citrus and specialty crop production.



My philosophy is that students learn more when they are actively engaged in the learning process.  In addition, given the financial risk management focus of the undergraduate and graduate courses that I teach, it is imperative that the students learn not only the underlying finance and account principles,  but that they also finish my course with skills and 'hands-on-experiences' in financial decision making.   Given the importance today of computers in financial management a key component of all my courses is the use of basic computer decision making aids.  The applications of these computer decision aids by the student to problems, exercises and case studies results in the development of decision making skills that are highly valued in business and finance. 

Brief description of courses taught

AEB 3122—Financial Planning for Agribusiness; Spring and Fall semesters, 2006 – 2015 (4 sections per semester)

Format: Lecture and computer lab

  • Role: Required course for FRE majors and for selected other majors in CALS
  • Content:  This course introduces the student to basic financial and managerial accounting concepts that are the basis for financial and managerial decision-making.  Management principles and computer software accounting tools (QuickBooks) are studied that are the foundations for providing the necessary information to solve financial and other management problems faced by the small business or the entrepreneur starting a new business.


AEB 4138 —Advanced Agribusiness Management; Fall 1997 through 2006 (1 section), Fall 2007 (2 sections) and 2008 (2 sections) – Gainesville; Summer 2002 and 2003- in Ft. Pierce. Format: Lecture

  • Role: Required for FRE majors specializing in Agribusiness Management, approved elective for the minor in Management and Sales in Agribusiness, and a service course for students in CALS
  • Content: Reviews basic financial management principles. Using these skills and concepts, students analyze the financial performance of actual agribusiness firms. Students are exposed to financial management's role in production, marketing, human resource management and long-term capital investment decision.


AEB 4380—Agricultural Marketing Strategies; Spring 2000 and 2001

  • Format: Lecture and develop marketing plan
  • Role: Elective for FRE majors, for other CALS majors and for business majors specializing in agribusiness
  • Content: Enables students to work with an actual agribusiness firm and new product or commodity to gain hands-on experience in launching a new product in the agricultural industry.  This course is associated with the NAMA Marketing team and involves developing a plan for the National Agri-Marketing Association marketing Competition.


AEB 5326— Distance Agricultural Financial Management; Spring 2002 and 2004; Fall 2000

  • Format: Distance course taught by combination polycom, videotapes and the internet
  • Role: Required course taught in the Master of Agriculture program for those in the agribusiness specialization and an elective for those in the agricultural education specialization
  • Content: Introduces and reviews basic financial accounting and financial statement. Develops basic financial management principles and applications used in the analysis, control and planning of the agribusiness operation. Introduces risk analysis tools based on portfolio theory and the Capital Asset Pricing Model for investment analysis.


AEB 5326—Agricultural Financial Management; Fall 2004 through 2009

  • Format: Lecture
  • Role: Required course for Master of Agribusiness students.
  • Content: Introduces and reviews basic financial accounting and financial statement. Develops basic financial management principles and applications used in the analysis, control and planning of the agribusiness operation. Introduces risk analysis tools based on portfolio theory and the Capital Asset Pricing Model for investment analysis.


AEB 6145—Agricultural Finance; Spring 2000 though 2003

  • Format: Lecture and case studies
  • Role: Required course for Master of Science-Agribusiness students, elective for MS and PhD FRE students.
  • Content: Develops both the theory and application of the agribusiness financial analysis skills that underlie the planning of the operation, capital investment decision and capital structure of agribusiness firms. Examines the influence of financial markets and interest rates on financial decisions. Introduces risk analysis tools, based on portfolio theory and the Capital Asset Pricing Model.


AEB 6183—Agribusiness Risk Management; Summer 2004, 2005, and 2006; Fall 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009; Spring semester 2010 -2015

  • Format: Lecture and  simulation software          
  • Role: Required course for Master of Agribusiness students, elective for MS and PhD FRE students.
  • Content: Reviews the conceptual framework of decision analysis, examines and develops applied risk analysis skills useful for risk management decision-making by agricultural producers and agribusinesses and researchers. Provides an overview of decision analysis and forecasting using time series data and forecasting using quantitative data.  Using an Excel add-in develops in depth simulation modeling as a risk tool.



My research focuses on financial and risk management in production agriculture and agribusiness.  The research has both a theoretical and an applied component.

The theoretical component of my research is in agribusiness financial management and market efficiency. This area of research is an important subset of the earnings quality analysis – as measured by a firm's financial statements - and draws heavily from economics, accounting and finance.  Very recent research strongly suggests that investors and financial analysts systematically fail to fully interpret relevant information revealed on firms' financial statements, referred to as the accrual anomaly.  While there is currently no consensus on the cause of this anomaly research efforts are ongoing to explain the causes and extend the research to the industry level and eventually to the individual firm level.  My research program is the first to extend this research and examine the accrual anomaly in the agribusiness industry.  The three recent referred publications for this research are in the Agricultural Finance Review, Agribusiness: an International Journal and the Proceedings: 2005 Decision Sciences Institute International Conference. The Agricultural Finance Review is the only journal dedicated to publishing just agricultural finance research, a major and significant sub discipline of the general field of agricultural economics.  The latter two journals are both international research publication.  This work has also resulted in one PhD dissertation, one international presentation, and three national presentations.

The applied research component is in risk management, particularly as it relates to production agriculture in Florida.  This research provides specialty crop and policy makers with information about the risk associated with specialty crop production. The primary focus of this research has been the development of a comprehensive risk management simulation model that fully assesses the multi-year nature of specialty crops risk and the development representative specialty crop farms.   This risk model and representative farms have been used to examine the impact of agricultural policy and trade policy on risk in Florida agriculture.  The representative farm simulations models developed were used as part an analysis of the US Farm Bill on specialty crop producers.  This research resulted in five non-referred publications for state and federal level agricultural policy makers from Florida and six other specialty crop states.

Since 2002 I have obtained $297,670 from two grants as the PI and $100,000 as a co-PI for work in this area.  These grants have funded or supported one post-doc, one PhD student and a three MS students.  It has resulted in two presentations to federal USDA agencies, a symposium at the American Agricultural Economic Association Meetings, two invited presentations at international conferences, five presentations and three posters.   

My research program has also had an interdisciplinary component.  I have served on several graduate committees outside the FRE department. 

The Food Distribution Research Society is a forum for promoting and presenting research on the food industry worldwide.  For a seven year period (1998-2004) I had an active role in this research society first as Co-editor and Editor and then as president of the society.  In addition, as a complement to my major teaching appointment at UF, I have been involved in projects aimed at improving teaching in our discipline and college. Activities in this area have resulted in five refereed journal articles.

Rick Weldon, Professor