William A. Messina, Jr.
Staff: Coordinator of Economic Analysis
Extension and research activities related to U.S. agricultural trade and trade policy
William A. Messina, Jr. is an agricultural economist with the Food and Resource Economics Department in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida. His extension, research and teaching activities focus on agricultural trade and development issues with specific emphasis on U.S.-Caribbean/Latin American trade patterns and policies of particular relevance to Florida agriculture.
Mr. Messina is the founding Co-Director of the Department’s comprehensive research initiative to provide objective and current data, information and analysis on the agricultural and fisheries sectors in Cuba. Begun in 1992, this research continues to be conducted in collaboration with a team of researchers at the University of Havana, Cuba. As part of this research effort, Mr. Messina has published widely on the topic and made presentations on Cuba’s agricultural sector at professional conferences and agricultural industry meetings throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. He also has presented testimony on Cuba’s agricultural sector to U.S. House and Senate Congressional committees and the U.S. International Trade Commission. In 1999, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman presented Mr. Messina and Cuba project Co-Director Dr. Jose Alvarez with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Special Honor Award for “outstanding service to U.S. and Florida agriculture for research on the economic challenges and opportunities associated with resumption of trade with Cuba.”
Mr. Messina has been a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and to a number of U.S. agricultural commodity associations. He also has been a W.K. Kellogg Foundation research fellow at the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy/Resources for the Future in Washington, D.C.
Prior to joining the University of Florida staff in 1989, Mr. Messina worked for 11 years in private sector agribusiness marketing and management. This private sector experience included successfully establishing his own company to market horticultural supplies and equipment to vegetable and ornamental plant growers and distributors in the southeastern United States, the Caribbean and Central America.
Mr. Messina holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and a Master of Science degree in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida.
Co-Director of the research program studying the challenges and opportunities which may arise for Florida and U.S. agriculture from a resumption of trade and commercial relations between the United States and Cuba
Awards and Achievements
U.S. Department of Agriculture Special Honor Award, 1998
W.K. Kellogg Foundation research fellow at the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy/Resources for the Future in Washington, D.C. , 1992