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The Center for Agroforestry

Meet the UMCA Faculty and Staff

Zhen Cai

Zhen Cai, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor

203 G Anheuser Busch Natural Resources Bldg
Columbia, MO 65211

Cai's research is focused on the economic and financial analysis of practices associated with agroforestry, the examination of consumer preferences to agroforestry products, the economic valuation of ecosystem services from agroforestry practices, consumer preferences to wood products, economic analysis of certified wood products price premiums, and non-industrial private forest owners' land management preferences.


  • Cai, Z.; Xie, Y.; and Aguilar, F.X. (2017) Eco-label credibility and retailer effects on green product purchasing intention. Forest Policy and Economics, vol 80, pp 200-208.
  • Aguilar, F.X.; Cai, Z.; and Butler, B. (2017) Geographic proximity and peer-effects on land management preferences: Evidence from family forest owners. PLOS ONE, vol 12, e0169667. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169667.
  • Cai, Z.; Narine, L.L.; D'Amato, A.; and Aguilar, F.X. (2016) Attitudinal and revenue effects on non-industrial private forest owners' willingness-to-harvest timber and woody biomass. Forest Policy and Economics, vol 63, pp 52-61.
  • Aguilar, F.X.; Cai, Z.; Mohebalian, P.M.; and Thompson, W. (2015) Exploring the Drivers’ side of the “Blend Wall”: U.S. consumer preferences for ethanol blend fuels. Energy Economics, vol 49, pp 217-226.
  • Aguilar, F.X.; Cai, Z.; and D'Amato, A.W. (2014) Non-industrial private forest landowner's willingness-to-harvest: how higher timber prices can increase woody biomass supply. Biomass and Bioenergy, vol 72, pp 202-215.
  • Cai, Z.; and Aguilar, F.X. (2014) Consumer expectations of corporate social responsibility for the wood products industry in the U.S. and China. Forest Products Journal. vol 64, pp 97-106.
  • Aguilar, F.X.; Daniel, M.; and Cai, Z. (2014) Family-forest owners’ willingness to harvest sawlogs and woody biomass: the effect of price on social availability. Agricultural Resource Economics Review, vol 43, pp 279-299.
  • Cai, Z.; and Aguilar, F.X. (2013) Consumer stated purchasing preferences and corporate social responsibility in the wood products industry: a conjoint analysis in the U.S. and China. Ecological Economics, vol 95, pp 118-127.
  • Cai, Z.; and Aguilar, F.X. (2013) Meta-analysis of consumer's willingness-to-pay estimates for certified wood products. Journal of Forest Economics. vol 19, pp 15–31.

Extension Outreach Publications and Presentations:

  • Cartwright, L.; Goodrich, N.; Cai, Z.; and Gold, M. (2017). Using NRCS Technical and Financial Assistance for Agroforestry and Woody Crop Establishment through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Agroforestry in Action.
  • Cai, Z.; and Gold, M. (2017) Establishing a Missouri Pawpaw Industry - Market Surveys. Green Horizons Newsletter.
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