Watch course lectures for “Structural Racism in the U.S. Agricultural System”

CALS faculty, staff and alumni are welcome to observe the lectures for the new course “Hort 375: Structural Racism in the U.S. Agricultural System.” Students, on the other hand, must be enrolled or be officially auditing the course in order to participate. Discussions or other course activities are for students only. Lectures are held on Fridays from 1:20 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Description: This course will provide a historical analysis of the agricultural systems in the U.S. through a series of seminars by expert speakers. We will address the racialized history of agriculture through background readings and small group discussions. The seminars will provide an overview of the following topics:

  • The conquest of Europeans and expropriation of land from Indigenous populations
  • Enslavement of West African people and their agricultural labor in US plantations
  • The transformation of labor relations in agriculture through subsidies that allowed migrant labor to be cheap and legally exploitable
  • Government treaties and US agricultural policies targeting farmers of color
  • Gendered impacts of agricultural labor
  • Examples of resistance and liberation in the food system

In order to build a fair and sustainable food system, we need to uncover the structural racism in the food system (land grabbing, genocide, enslavement, and labor exploitation) and recognize it as a factor that affects unevenly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color – BIPOC. The course is designed to introduce participants to the implications of this historical legacy in the U.S. agricultural sector, while highlighting examples of resistance, healing, and transformation of our current food system.

Use the following link to register to attend: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. You only need to register once to attend any/all of the lectures.

Webinar speakers:

January 29, 2021 | Ricardo Salvador (Senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists @ Union of Concerned Scientists) | “Factors of Production and Generational Wealth-Building: Why Agriculture is an Explicitly Racist Project”

February 5, 2021 | Dan Cornelius (Outreach specialist @Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center – GLIC-) | “Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the Great Lakes Region”

February 12, 2021 | Jane Mt. Pleasant | (Emeritus Professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University) | “Scholarship on the History of Indigenous Agriculture in North America: Crimes of Incompetence and Bias”

February 19, 2021 | Jessika Greendeer | Ho-Chunk seed keeper and farm manager at Dream of Wild Health | “The Parallel Lives of Indigenous Seeds and Their People”

February 26, 2021 | Elena Terry | Executive Chef / Founder of Wild Bearies | “Native American Food Sovereignty”

March 5, 2021 | Christy Clark-Pujara | Professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison | “Black Rice in South Carolina 1690-1860”

March 12, 2021 | Donale Richards | Michael Fields Agricultural Institute |”Farm Bill Appropriations and Implementation”

March 19, 2021 | Nan Enstad | Professor of Community & Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison | “How the Development of Bright Leaf Tobacco Bred White Supremacy in the U.S.”

March 26, 2021 | This session is for enrolled students only

April 2, 2021 | This session is for enrolled students only

April 9, 2021 | Erika Anna | Faculty Associate in the Nutritional Sciences at UW-Madison | “Racism within Dietary Guidelines and Nutrition Recommendations”

April 16, 2021 | Michelle Miller and Sarah Lloyd | Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems -CIAS- at UW-Madison | “Wisconsin Agricultural History Through the lens of Immigrant Farmers at the Turn of the Last Century (1890-1930)

April 23, 2021 | Alliance for Fair Food + Coalition of Immokalee Workers | “Historical Perspectives of Migrant Workforce in the U.S. Agricultural Sector”