Dr. Patrick Westhoff is the director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and a professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri. He grew up on a small dairy and hog farm in northeast Iowa. After getting his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Iowa, he served as Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala.
He has a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University. From 1992-1996, he was an economist with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, where he worked on farm legislation and trade agreements.
Westhoff came to the University of Missouri in 1996. As FAPRI director, he heads a group that develops projections for agricultural markets and analyzes the impacts of agricultural, biofuel, trade, conservation and nutrition policies. Besides his work for U.S. policy makers, he has worked on projects in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. As an MU professor, he teaches classes in agricultural policy and advises students.
He is married to Elena Vega, has three children and two grandchildren, and lives in Columbia, Missouri.