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Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Dr. Jonathan Adam Watson

Assistant Professor and AOM Undergraduate Coordinator, Agribusiness, Farm Economics, Supply Chain Management, and Food Systems

Dr. Jonathan Adam Watson grew up in a small town in North Central Florida where his family has farmed and ranched for nearly 200 years.  He spent much of his childhood assisting his family in raising livestock such as swine, beef, and poultry and growing crops for sustenance and sale.  As a child, he was actively involved in his local 4-H chapter and showed swine raised on his family’s farm at the Suwannee River Livestock Show and Sale.

In 2010, he received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida with a major in Food and Resource Economics specializing in marketing and management. After completing his bachelor’s degree Dr. Watson enrolled in the Food and Resource Economics Department and completed his Master of Science in 2012. After completing his master’s degree, Dr. Watson enrolled in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Agricultural Operations Management (AOM) Ph.D. program and minored in Horticultural Science where he completed his degree in August 2016.  As a doctoral student, Dr. Watson conducted multidisciplinary research on expanding Farm to School (F2S) efforts throughout the state of Florida. Dr. Watson’s dissertation topic focused on identifying opportunities to expand local food procurement and creating distribution networks for farmers to engage with public schools.

In March 2017, Dr. Watson began as a tenure track Assistant Professor of AOM in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida.  Dr. Watson’s specialization areas include agribusiness, supply chain management, food systems, and postharvest technologies for specialty crops.  Dr. Watson’s synergistic efforts include collaborating with teams of researchers involved with the Florida Farm to School Program, the Family Nutrition Program (FNP), and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).  Dr. Watson also works with researchers at Florida’s Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory on energy efficiency and with researchers in Environmental Horticulture on the economics of controlled environment agriculture.  Dr. Watson is currently teaching courses in agri-food systems innovation, agricultural operations and systems, and professional practices.  He is currently developing courses in environmental systems for agricultural structures as well as material for a course in geospatial analysis for food systems.

Contact Information


263 Frazier Rogers Hall

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 110570
Gainesville, FL 32611-0570

  • Teaching
    • AOM4455: Agricultural Operations and Systems
    • AOM4932/6932: Agri-food Systems Innovation
    • AOM4633: Professional Practices in Agricultural Operations Management
  • Research

    Departmental Research Areas:

    • Agricultural Operations Management
    • Agricultural Production Engineering

    Research Focus:

    • Local food procurement by institutional stakeholders
    • Postharvest technology adoption and acceptance from specialty crop agricultural producers
  • Education
    • Ph.D. Agricultural & Biological Engineering, University of Florida, 2016
    • M.S. Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida, 2012
    • B.S. Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida, 2010
  • Professional Experience
    • March 2017 - Present
      Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida
    • November 2016 - April 2017
      State Food Systems Curriculum Developer
    • August 2010 - April 2017
      Tutor, University Alumni Association, University of Florida
    • September 2015 - September 2016
      Research Assistant, University of Florida
    • August 2014 - December 2014, August 2015 - December 2015
      Teaching Assistant, Advanced Principles of Packaging, University of Florida
    • August 2012 - September 2015
      Research Assistant, FDACS/IFAS Farm to School Partnership
  • Publications
  • Awards and Honors
    • ASABE Gale A. Holloway Professional Development Award, 2023
      • This award recognizes outstanding leadership and active involvement in ASABE for early career members.
    • FL ASABE Distinguished Achievement Award, 2023
      • The recipient of this award has gone beyond the State Section and served the Profession of Agricultural Engineering in other endeavors that represent the Profession proudly.
    • ASABE A.W. Farrall Young Educator Award, 2022
      • This award recognizes and honors members under 40 years of age  for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the profession and to stimulate professional achievement.
    • UF CALS Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award, 2022
      • This award recognizes effective teaching in early career teaching faculty.
    • UF CALS Innovation in Teaching Award, 2020
      • This award recognizes innovative teaching practices through the eyes of students.
    • FL ASABE Outstanding Service Award, 2020
      • This award is given to a member of the FL Section who has served with distinction.
    • FL ASABE Teacher of the Year Award, 2019
      • This recipient of this award has provided the students with the best tools for successful education, elevating their appreciation and understanding for the Agricultural and Biological Engineering profession. 
  • Other Professional Activities
    • Professional Member, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)