Mini Conference RSS 2017


The theme of this year’s Rural Sociological Society Conference was Rural Peoples in a “Volatile World: Disruptive Agents and Adaptive Strategies.” CLD faculty Keiko Tanaka is the new President-Elect of the RSS. Dr. Tanaka is the 8th faculty member at UK and second woman from UK to be elected to serve as President of the Rural Sociological Society in its 80-year history. With Keiko’s election, UK now has ties to 15 past presidents of the Rural Sociological Society by either being a faculty member, former faculty, or PhD alumni.

Julie Zimmerman at RSS

Dr. Tanaka also presented her research with CLD master student Heather Hyden and others titled “Linking Farmers with Consumers: Key Characteristics of Values-Based Supply Chains and Food Hubs in the United States,” served on several panels, and organized sessions recognizing the career and contributions of former UK faculty member Larry Busch. Dr. Julie Zimmerman serves as the Society’s Historian and presented two posters: “Rural Sociologists Instrumental in ASA’s First Statement on Professional Ethics” and “When RSS was last in Columbus, OH” both of which highlighted aspects of the history of rural sociology and the RSS. Dr. Tanaka was part of a total of 3 panels and 1 paper presentation at the RSS meeting. She was one of the organizers on the RC 40 (Research Committee 40 of the International Sociological Association) Mini-Conference to celebrate Professor Larry Busch’s contributions to the Sociology of Agriculture and Food. Dr. Larry Busch was a rural sociologist in UK College of Agriculture before he moved to Michigan State University. Dr. Tanaka was his first PhD student at MSU.

RSS Conference Program

As the Society’s historian, Dr. Zimmerman runs the RSS Oral History Project and during the conference she was able to add 3 more interviews to the collection. Dr. Zimmerman presented her research conducted with Tony Love in the Department of Sociology titled “Data Inequality in an Evidence Based World: Rural Reliability and the American Community Survey.” She presented UK Faculty member Shannon Bell with the 2017 RSS Excellence in Research award.

For more information on the Rural Sociological Society, visit their website here.

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