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Jon Brandt, Agricultural and Resource Economics head, dies unexpectedly

Dr. Jon Brandt, head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, died unexpectedly at his home Monday, Nov. 26. He was 65.

Brandt was named to head the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics on Dec. 1, 1991. His tenure as department head was the longest for an active department head at North Carolina State University.

Brandt came to N.C. State from the University of Missouri, where he was a faculty member from 1986 through 1991. At Missouri, he was a professor and director of graduate programs and co-director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute in the Department of Agricultural Economics. He also served as interim chairman of the department.

Prior to joining the University of Missouri faculty, Brandt was a member of the faculty at Purdue University, where he started his career as an assistant professor in 1977.

Brandt earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Ohio State University, while his Ph.D. was from the University of California, Davis. All his degrees were in agricultural economics. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army at the Pentagon during the Vietnam War.

Brandt was a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association, the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, Gamma Sigma Delta, Sigma Xi and Phi Kappa Phi.

He served as chair of the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics and was a past president of the American Agricultural Economic Association. He was honored as a “Brother of the Century” by Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity at the centennial anniversary of the fraternity’s founding in Columbus, Ohio in 2004. Brandt was president of Alpha Gamma Rho as a student. He also received The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996 and the Distinguished Policy Contribution Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association in 1991.

As head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, he facilitated the establishment in the department of the Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy and led efforts to increase scholarship funding for undergraduate and graduate students.

Brandt is survived by his two children, Melissa Brandt and her fiancé, Ken Nelson, and Ryan Brandt and his, wife Laura. He was expecting to become a grandfather next March and would have walked his daughter down the aisle next May. He is also survived by his mother, Alvina, brother Jim and his family, all of Anna, Ohio, and by his first wife and the mother of his children, Cinda Brandt, and his second wife, Jackie Brandt.

A celebration of Brandt’s life will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at Apex United Methodist Church. The family will receive visitors immediately following the service. Arrangements are by Montlawn Funeral Home, Raleigh. Condolences may be made at

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Apex United Methodist Church, 100 S. Hughes St., Apex, NC 27502.

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