Agricultural Statistics Board Chair and Director, Methodology Division

Joseph L. Parsons

Picture of Joseph Parsons, Director, Information Technology Division

Joseph Parsons serves as chair of USDA’s Agricultural Statistics Board and director of the NASS Methodology Division. As ASB chair since 2016, Parsons leads the preparation and dissemination of market-sensitive agriculture-related forecasts and estimates. As the director, he provides leadership and oversight for the successful design, processing, and summarization of survey and census information.

Since beginning his federal career in 1985, Parsons has held various roles and responsibilities at NASS, including the agency’s chief information officer, chief data officer, senior research statistician, chaired the agency’s strategic planning council, and provided leadership in multiple field offices.

Parsons was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2011 after completing USDA’s Senior Executive Candidate Development Program and American University’s Key Executive Leadership Certificate Program. As part of his leadership training, he served a detail as visiting executive at Statistics Canada.

Parsons graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with honors in Agricultural Economics and earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland-College Park in Survey Methodology. He grew up on the family dairy farm in southwestern Missouri and worked on several farming operations throughout high school and college.

Last Modified: 08/02/2021