Q&A with Ray Massey

Ray Massey is an extension professor in agricultural economics

What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?

I am an extension economist in the Division of Applied Social Sciences. My primary responsibilities revolve around crop production economics. I tend to focus on the intersection of production and the environment. So, I have done research and education on manure value, biosecurity, managing under extreme weather events and insurance decisions. I am fortunate to be able to work with faculty from other departments to create programs that meet the needs of Missouri farmers and businesses. Some programs that I have contributed to include www.agsite.missouri.edu and www.agebb.missouri.edu/horizonpoint. Both of these programs help farmers manage their resources in a way that recognizes the environmental resources that impact their decisions. Currently, my major efforts are directed toward understanding and educating on leasing decisions and cover crop decisions.

Ray stands at the front of a classroom where he is lecturing.
Ray’s work focuses on the intersection of production and the environment.

How long have you worked in this position?

I began work at MU in November 1995.

What is your favorite part about the work you do?

I enjoy the interdisciplinary aspect of my work. I started at MU on the commercial ag crops team where collaboration across disciplines was expected. It is rewarding to work with someone in plant sciences, animal sciences or ag engineering in a way that benefits both of our contributions.

How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?

Ray sits next to Julie Harker in a makeshift video studio, offering a behind the scenes look into their ag leasing webinar series.
Ray recently developed a webinar series designed to help farmers and property owners with leasing arrangements.

Because I work at the intersection of production agriculture and the environment, I contribute to the #2xAg2030 goal in two ways. I seek to help farmers make better business decisions so they can produce and earn more. But I also connect it to environmental limits, so that they preserve the resources used to be productive.

What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?

I love Jesus. My motivation for coming to work is “whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord.” This motivates me when I get discouraged or want to cut corners on a project.

What is your hometown, place of high school graduation and degrees/universities?

I was raised as an Air Force brat and traveled to various bases in the U.S. and Japan until age 13. Then my dad settled in his hometown of Clovis, NM on a small, irrigated alfalfa farm. I graduated from Clovis High School and went the New Mexico State University where I earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s in agricultural economics. Four years after NMSU, I went back to get my doctorate in agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University.