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Ag History at the AHA
The AHA is grateful for the spirit of scholarly collaboration with its affiliated societies year round. Our 133rd annual meeting, in January 2019, represents a unique opportunity for face-to-face interaction with historians in your field from around the world. This year, we have compiled some of the many sessions that may be of interest to the Agricultural History Society members. We would appreciate if you would share these panels with your members.

The Past, Present, and Future of Museums of Food, Agriculture, and Rural Life

Globalization and Industrialization: History and Food Panel

Ethnic Dynamics in American Cities, Suburbs, and Agri-towns: Explorations of How Ethnicity Shaped Urban Spaces after 1960

Indigenous People, Colonialism, Sovereignty, and Dam Projects in the Americas

Governing Human and Animal Populations from the Colonial to the Postcolonial World

Cultivating Environmental Reform: Competing Agrarian politics in 20th-Century Latin America

Unemployment, Insecurity, and Work Restructuring in the Americas, 1930s–90s

Get the #AHA19 app to curate your own annual meeting experience, and consider making plans to join us in Chicago from January 3-6, 2019, if you have not already. Register by December 14 for a discounted rate.

Southern Forum on Agricultural, Rural, and Environmental History 2019
Call for Papers: The Southern Forum on Agricultural, Rural, and Environmental History (SFARE) is now accepting proposals for its annual conference, to be held at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, April 26-27, 2019.

Now in its twelfth year, SFARE provides a collegial setting for advanced graduate students and established scholars to present material that pushes the boundaries of agricultural, rural, and environmental history. In keeping with SFARE’s tradition of fostering a welcoming and constructive atmosphere, participants should plan to attend all panels (there are no concurrent sessions) in order to provide quality feedback for each presenter. This year’s event is supported by the Department of History and University Speakers & Issues Series at Midwestern State University, with additional support from the Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environmental of the South (CHASES) at Mississippi State University and the Agricultural History Society.

Christopher Morris will deliver this year’s keynote address on nitrogen networks in a global context, the subject of his current book project. Dr. Morris is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Arlington and the author of Becoming Southern: The Evolution of a Way of Life, Warren County and Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1770-1860 and The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of Mississippi and Its Peoples from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina.

Work on all geographic locations and time periods is welcome. Faculty and students are invited to submit panel, roundtable, or single-paper proposals on any topic dealing with rural, agricultural, or environmental history. Please submit a 250-word paper proposal or a 500-word panel proposal, along with a one-page CV for each person involved, to Dr. Whitney Snow at

The deadline for submission is January 28. Responses will be sent by February 11.

Call for Nominations for the Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers
On October 17, 2018, we published in the Federal Register (FR DOC# 2018-22149, Page 52377) a Notice of Solicitation for Applications. Applications were required to be received on or before November 1, 2018. We are extending the submission period to November 15, 2018.

We are soliciting nominations from interested organizations and individuals from among ranching and farming producers (industry), related government, civil rights, State, and Tribal agricultural agencies, academic institutions, commercial banking entities, trade associations, and related nonprofit enterprises. An organization may nominate individuals from within or outside its membership; alternatively, an individual may nominate herself or himself. Nomination packages should include a nomination form along with a cover letter or resume that documents the nominee's background and experience. Nomination forms are available on the internet at​document/​ad-755 or may be obtained from Mrs. Kenya Nicholas at the email address or telephone number noted above.

The Secretary will fill up to 15 vacancies from among those organizations and individuals solicited in order to obtain the broadest possible representation on the Committee. Equal opportunity practices, in line with the USDA policies, will be followed in all appointments to the Committee. To ensure that the recommendations of the Committee have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by the Department, membership should include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.

Signed in Washington, DC, this 25th day of October 2018.

Christian Obineme,

Associate Director, Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement.

Vernacular Architecture Forum Access Award

ACCESS AWARD: In an effort to bring fresh voices to the study of vernacular buildings and landscapes the Access Award supports  first-time attendance  by  scholars and students with limited professional exposure to the fields of architectural history and vernacular studies, as well as by  practitioners and independent scholars in the field.  The next meeting, Landscapes of Succession, will take place in Philadelphia, PA, May 29 - June 1, 2019. 

There is no geographic restriction on the award and local practitioners, scholars, and  students may apply. Winners are not required to give a paper at the meeting. The award will cover the cost of registration for the conference including tours. Winners who live more than 50 miles from the conference site will also receive a stipend of  $300 for travel and lodging, to be presented at the conference. Up to two awards will be  given per year. Winners, including those giving papers at the meeting, are required to write  an article to be published in the VAF’s newsletter,  VAN, discussing what they learned as  first-time attendees.

Applications should consist of a C.V. or resume and a one-page letter detailing how the candidate heard about the Access Award, why he or she  qualifies, and what interests him or her about attending a VAF meeting.   Materials should be submitted as email attachments in Word or PDF format to Questions  about the award may also be directed to that address.

The deadline for applications is January 5, 2019.  

AHS Seeks New Executive Secretary and Treasurer
Agricultural History Society
Request for Proposals

Position: Executive Secretary
Position: Treasurer
May 25, 2018

The Agricultural History Society (AHS) invites applications for Executive Secretary and Treasurer, with a start date of June 1, 2019. Since 1919, the AHS has served as the leading scholarly organization in the world dedicated to the study of rural life and agriculture, with our journal Agricultural History serving the scholarly community since 1927. AHS members research and teach the history of agriculture and rural life from multiple perspectives across time periods and geography.

In June 2019, the AHS will conclude a successful ten-year residency at Mississippi State University, led by Executive Secretary James C. Giesen and Treasurer Alan I Marcus. AHS members and officers now look forward to welcoming new leadership. Proposals need not reflect the pattern of two officers at the same institution and may combine the two roles. Professors Giesen and Marcus will provide counsel during the transition.

The principal duties of the Executive Secretary include:
• Manage membership, including maintenance of member information and recruitment of new members.
• Work with the journal editor and its vendors, including our printer, warehouse, and online distributors.
• Regularly report to executive committee.
• Execute the annual conference, including site selection, contracting with hotels and other vendors, and working with local arrangements to put on the meeting.
• Conduct the annual elections for leadership positions.
• Respond to queries and conduct correspondence on behalf of the organization.

The principal duties of the Treasurer include:
• Manage AHS financial assets in consultation with the executive board.
• File tax returns for the organization
• Report the financial affairs of the AHS to the executive board and membership on a periodic basis.
• Liaise with the Executive Secretary and Editor of Agricultural History regarding membership, conferences, and the journal.

The successful proposal will include the following:
• Clear vision for building on past success.
• Plan for support from host institution (i.e., course releases, overhead, student assistants).
• Expected level of support from AHS.
• Plan for covering the two positions (i.e., two individuals at one institution; two individuals at different institutions, or one individual for both roles). The society is open to many configurations for these positions.

Special Information:
• Applicants are welcome to propose any number of configurations to fill the positions of Executive Secretary and Treasurer.
• Proposals must present a plan for maintaining AHS funds as U.S. dollars.

Inquiries about these positions should be addressed to AHS President Joe Anderson or the current executive secretary, James C. Giesen.

Joe Anderson:
James C. Giesen:

All proposals should be emailed to Jenny Barker-Devine at:

Due Date: November 1, 2018

"Why Equine History Matters"--The Equine History Conference
The Equine History Conference, "Why Equine History Matters"
W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library, Cal Poly Pomona
Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2018

The horse cuts across wide swathes of society, in diverse cultures, regions, and times; this event brings together scholars, public historians, and archivists to discuss “Why Equine History Matters.” This conference was the brain-child of the Equine History Collective (EHC), a recently incorporated federal 501(c)3 public charity, with the enthusiastic support and sponsorship of the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. We are especially glad to be in Pomona–an important center for Arabian horse breeding--to promote the exchange of exciting equine research between the academic community, equine professionals, and the public. On these grounds, the breakfast cereal mogul W. K. Kellogg bred Arabian horses imported from England, and became a popular ambassador to the early Hollywood entertainment industry. A campaign to preserve the Arabian breeding center and restore its public educational purpose led to the development of the first southern California agricultural science program in the Cal State University system in the Kellogg Arabian Center.

Join us for an exciting series of new research presentations, a plenary lecture by Dr. Richard Nash (Professor of English, University of Indiana, Bloomington), a tour of the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library, and a Sunday Show at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center!

Three-day ticket: $32 General/$28 students
Admission includes preferred seating, coffee and snacks, lunch Friday & Saturday, tour of the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library, and admission to the W.K. Kellogg Horse Center’s Sunday Show. Register here.
Registration Closes Nov. 9, or when space is filled.
T-shirts available!

CFP for the Equine History Conference 2019 coming soon...

Agricultural History Society Publishes New Book
The Agricultural History Society announces the publication of USING DIVERSE PRIMARY RESOURCES TO RESEARCH U.S. HISTORY, a collection of essays intended to guide undergraduate and graduate students through the process of identifying new and unique primary sources. Editors Claire Strom and Annabel Tudor brought together a number of articles from the pages of Agricultural History to demonstrate how students may draw on vastly different kinds of historical sources in their work, from material culture of artifacts to statues and cookbooks. Other essays explain how students might glean new perspectives from more traditional print sources by looking beyond what is simply written on the page to tease out historical relationships not immediately revealed through reading. The collection as a whole encourages students to think broadly about primary sources and shows the creative reading can expose new perspectives on agricultural, and, more broadly, U.S. history.

Using Diverse Primary Resources to Research U.S. History: Essays from the Agricultural History Society is available today in paperback and Kindle versions on for $19.99.

Call for Papers: Symposium on the History of Midwest Science and Technology
Call for Papers - Symposium on the History of Midwest Science and Technology
March 29-31, 2019, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Deadline: November 15, 2018

Iowa State University’s Department of History and Consortium for the History of Technology and Science invite proposals for a March 29-31, 2019 symposium on the History of Midwest Science and Technology. We define both “science” and “technology” broadly, to encompass topics including design, innovation, construction, the environment, agriculture, and more.

This meeting builds on the recent surge of interest in the Midwest’s social, economic, cultural, and intellectual history. The symposium will connect the history of science and technology to this wider Midwest history, while bringing Midwestern history into conversations about American science and technology often dominated by coastal case-studies.

Organizers welcome paper proposals that engage with one, or more, of the directions below or related themes:
• Historical case-studies of specific Midwest-centered science programs or discoveries;
• Historical case-studies of specific Midwest-centered technological developments, inventions, innovations, engineering programs, or technical issues;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to art, architecture, design, and construction history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to environmental and agricultural history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to business and labor history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to urban and rural history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to women’s/gender history, ethnic, and minority history;
• The history of Midwest science and technology linked to geography and sociology.

Participants will be asked to pre-circulate their papers before the symposium to facilitate discussion. Graduate students are welcome to apply. Some funding is available to paper presenters to help offset the costs of lodging and travel to the symposium, which will be held at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Organizers aim to follow the symposium by pursuing opportunities for publishing the polished research papers as an edited volume, in academic journals, or other avenues for dissemination.

To propose a contribution, please send an abstract (no longer than 400 words) and a CV to Amy Bix at by the deadline of November 15, 2018. Applicants can expect to hear back from the conference committee by December 1, 2018. Participants will need to prepare papers for pre-circulation by March 1, 2019. If you have any questions, please email Amy Bix at

Cornell University College of Human Ecology History of Home Economics Fellowship
The College of Human Ecology at Cornell University is accepting applications for the 2019 Dean's Fellowship in the History of Home Economics.

We invite faculty members, research scholars, and advanced graduate students (must be eligible to work in the United States) with demonstrated background and experience in historical studies to apply for this post-graduate opportunity. The fellowship recipient will receive an award of $6,500 for a summer or sabbatical residency of approximately six weeks to use the unique resources available from the College and the Cornell University Library system in pursuit of scholarly research in the history of Home Economics and its impact on American society.

At the conclusion of the residency the fellowship recipient will provide a final report to the dean, including a bibliography of research pursued, and preservation recommendations for pertinent library and archival holdings. In addition, the recipient will be invited to give a public presentation on their research at a later date. Research projects should be intended for publication.

Relevant historical subject areas may include, but are not limited to: the role of women in the family and society, the history of women in higher education, the history of food, nutrition, housing, consumer economics, the family, child development, design, clothing and textiles among other key topics in American social history. We welcome applications in which the historical subject area may inform the investigation of contemporary societal issues.

The deadline for receipt of all application materials is Friday, March 1, 2019. For additional information, see:

Land, Race, and Identity: Arkansas Historical CFP
Land, Race, and Identity
The Arkansas Historical Association (AHA) invites presentation proposals for its seventy-eighth annual conference, to be held in Stuttgart, April 11-13, 2019. Founded in the late nineteenth century by German immigrants, Stuttgart has a rich history as one of Arkansas’s most important agricultural centers, known especially for its rice production and waterfowl habitat. The 2019 conference will mark several major anniversaries, including the bicentennial of the formation of Arkansas Territory and the centennial of the Elaine Race Massacre. We seek presentations on a broad array of topics from all time periods that illuminate how the land—and ideas about it—have intersected with various identities, including race, to help shape the history of Arkansas. Presentations will be limited to twenty minutes. The use of audio-visual elements is encouraged.

Please send proposals of approximately 200 words to:

Blake Perkins, program chair
56 McClellan Dr. #3691
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476
870-759-4145 office
870-844-0299 cell

Proposals should be submitted by October 20, 2018, and include a mailing address, phone number, and email address. Proposals may be submitted by email. Please contact the program chair with any questions.

Ag History Needs Your Help
The Agricultural History Society seeks three members to work as part of an ad hoc committee to design a membership survey, analyze results, and recommend actions in response to findings. The work will occur during Fall 2018 with findings tabulated during January 2019. Interested? Please contact Debra A. Reid at

Doug Helms (1945-2018)
John Douglas Helms, PhD, expert on the history of United States agriculture and resource conservation, died on September 5, 2018. After earning a Doctorate in American history from Florida State University in 1977, he became the Historian of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (then called the Soil Conservation Service), part of the Department of Agriculture. His work for the government built upon his dissertation, which examined efforts to eradicate the boll weevil in the South. More than an historian of government policy, he wrote about how the personalities of scientists or bureaucrats shaped their missions—whether to help poor farmers in the South or to protect the environment. He introduced readers to the leaders in environmental protection: Hugh Hammond Bennett and Walter Lowdermilk. Like Helms, both came from North Carolina. Bennett led federal efforts to help farmers fight soil erosion; Lowdermilk inspired conservation efforts by writing about the plight of farmers around the world. Helms tacked a wide variety of other topics, including how women and African-Americans struggled to obtain services from the federal government.

Helms served as AHS president in 1999-2000 and was named Fellow of the Agricultural History in 2010.

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Contact Us

The Society Office
James C. Giesen, Executive Secretary
Alan I Marcus, Treasurer
MSU History Department
PO Box H
Mississippi State, MS 39762

The Editorial Office
Albert Way, Editor
Kennesaw State University
Dept. of History and Philosophy
402 Bartow Ave
Kennesaw, Georgia 30144