Kelly M. Harrison

Kelly M. Harrison

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Former Faculty
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics


Ph.D., 1967. Michigan State University
M.S., 1963. Kansas State University
B.S., 1962. Texas Technological College


Professor Harrison has worked in international agricultural development, pioneering innovative work related to marketing system development, agribusiness competitiveness and export promotion for over 40 years.  In 1966, after joining the faculty as Assistant Professor in The Department of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University, he served as Chief of Party on agricultural marketing projects in Northeast, Brazil and Colombia.  He was also Director at MSU of the Latin American Marketing Project, advised graduate students and then for two years served as advisor to the Colombian Minister of Agriculture.  He moved from MSU to USDA in 1977.

Throughout his career, he has distinguished himself as an authority on European and American horticultural marketing systems and as an expert in export development programs in Latin America and the Middle East.  He has brought agribusiness experience as Chief of Party on several USAID projects, as manager of USA funded export development programs, agricultural association executive, agribusiness corporate executive, professor, and researcher.

 From 1977 to 81 he served as General Sales Manager and Foreign Agricultural Service Associate Administrator.  He supervised commercial export credit programs, directed international commodity sales of the Commodity Credit Corporation and managed USDA export promotion programs.  As President of Kelly Harrison Associates from 1984 to 2001, he organized and managed consulting assignments in over 25 countries; including marketing, value chain and transportation studies, business planning, export market development, franchise business analysis, and business management training for the private sector and international donors.

While Chief of Party for a USAID value chain project in Jordan, he assisted the national marketing organization, conducting policy studies, competitive analysis and export marketing plan development.  He also completed research studies in Egypt providing background for the USAID value chain development project (ATUT) and then served as Chief of Party, providing overall leadership and oversight.  He was an advisor to Egyptian grower/exporters in the creation of the Horticulture Export Improvement Association and continued to serve as an advisor until 2001.  As a direct result of the ATUT project, exports of green beans, strawberries, grapes and fresh melons increased from less than $10 million at the beginning of the ATUT project to $325 million in 2012, creating thousands of jobs. Through Kelly Harrison Associates he supervised USAID/Egypt contracts in business management training and development.

 For eight years he co-owned and served as Managing Director of the Egyptian Sun Company, the first large –scale Egyptian flower export business, overseeing the exports of several million stems of cut flowers to Europe each year.  Simultaneously he carried out several short-term consulting assignments, in Egypt and Middle Eastern Countries.  Since relinquishing day-to-day management of Egyptian Sun, he has carried out numerous short term consulting assignments related to value chain management with Carana Corporation and other companies in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Kenya and Serbia.




  • Professor Harrison taught in agricultural marketing area - AEC 841