Julie N. Zimmerman

Julie N. Zimmerman

Photograph of Dr. Julie Zimmerman

Julie N. Zimmerman


Milton Coughenour Professor of Rural Sociology
707 Garrigus Building 325 Cooper Drive Lexington, KY 40546

Last Revised: Jun 16th, 2023

Professional Biography

Professional Profile


My research has both an academic and an applied focus.  My book, Opening Windows onto Hidden Lives: Women, Country Life, and Early Rural Sociological Research (with co-author Olaf Larson) explores the unexpected inclusion of rural and farm women in research conducted by the USDA’s Division of Farm Population and Rural Life (1919-1953).  Recent projects include the book chapter “I Could Tell Stories ‘til the Cows Come Home Individual Biography meets Collective Biography” (in Johannes Hans Bakker (ed.) Rural Sociologists at Work) and I am writing the history for the first Department of Rural Sociology in the nation.

I also conduct research with an applied emphasis.  Recent projects include Rural Data Inequality and the American Community Survey (w/ Dr. Tony Love in the Dept of Sociology) and the Rural Price Project Restudy which is a longitudinal analysis examining prices for items used in understanding geographic differences in the cost of living (w/ Dr. Karen Rignall in CLD).

For Cooperative Extension, I work as an Extension demographer in the area of applied population.  I developed and run the Extension program Kentucky: By The Numbers which focuses on publicly available secondary data used in local decision-making.  My program includes skill-based training, custom data analyses, direct assistance, resources for accessing and using online secondary data, and web access to resources and commonly used data.  As a result of my Extension program, I provide guest lectures for multiple courses in CLD and I work with the Building Strong Families Profiles for Family and Consumer Sciences Extension.

In addition to being a faculty member in CLD, I hold a joint appointment with the Department of Sociology and am a faculty member in the Sociology Graduate Program.

Contact me for assistance with:

  • Understanding rural/urban differences
  • Locating and using publically available secondary data
  • History of social sciences in colleges of agriculture and USDA

External Links

Kentucky: By The Numbers (Resources for Accessing Data in Real Time)

Historian, Rural Sociological Society Graduate Faculty, Department of Sociology

Building Strong Families Profiles

Listen to Dr. Zimmerman on NPR: “Women's Work Is Never Done On The Farm, And Sometimes Never Counted” https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/12/11/369902748/womens-work-is-never-done-on-the-farm-and-sometimes-never-counted

Read about some of Dr. Zimmerman’s applied work with Cooperative Extension at the following links:




Areas of Interest

Social Sciences in Agriculture, Rural/Urban Differences, Rural Inequality, Locating and Using Secondary Data, History


Contact Information

Dr. Wes Harrison, Ph.D.
Department Chair

500 W.P. Garrigus Building Lexington, KY 40546-0215

(859) 562-2788