I’ve just begun a new project, The Future of a New England Mill Town, that will be funded $200K from 2013-16 by the National Science Foundation to develop a set of courses and internships that explore issues of sustainability in Bennington, Vermont.
Since I’ve arrived in Bennington, I have been developing a new research program about how sustainable agriculture is defined in the Bennington region, and a basline assessment of the regional food system. This research has consisted of qualitative interviews with conventional and alternative farmers, field trips to farms with my students, the compilation of a database of all organizations and businesses that comprise Bennington’s food system, synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data collected at a Bennington community forum and focus group discussion led by the Vermont Farm to Plate Initiative in 2009, and engagement with the grassroots organization Bennington Farm to Plate. An outcome of this work is a co-authored white paper for local practioners, Bennington Farm to Plate Council: Connecting the Dots in Bennington’s Food System. My course Bennington Farm to Plate in Spring 2013 will be a continuation of this project with my students.
I am currently working on a book manuscript based on my dissertation The Demand for Diversity: The Global Expansion of Chinatown’s Food System with Cornell University Press.
As co-chair of Bennington’s Sustainability Committee, I have worked with my colleagues and students on a number of sustainability projects. The outcomes of these projects can be downloaded from the list below: