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Articles Tagged with labor

Unintended Discoveries

An interview with Christine VanPool, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

As a child growing up in New Mexico, Christine VanPool remembers visiting museums and state parks with her family. By all accounts, VanPool was a normal kid who loved to ask questions. Living on the edge of the Mescalero Apache reservation, VanPool developed an appreciation for the rich cultural history of her Native American friends, which led naturally to her interest in anthropology.

Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk

An interview with José Garcia, Extension Assistant Professor

José Garcia puts on and takes off many hats during the average week, owing to the extension, teaching, and research dimensions of his work as Extension Assistant Professor in Rural Sociology. For instance, as Coordinator of the Community Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture Program at MU (CFSSA), Garcia spends most of his time doing outreach with rural communities throughout the state. A common misunderstanding some people have about the term “sustainable agriculture” is that it rejects technology, harkening back to an earlier time when people worked mainly with their hands. Quite the contrary, Garcia clarifies: sustainable agriculture uses the most recent technology in its approach to farming (and to food itself), in which economic viability and environmental impact, along with social responsibility, are at the center of every decision. In relation to this last dimension, approaches to sustainable agriculture ask such questions as the following: “How socially responsible are farmers? What is the impact of their operations on communities, families, and workers? And how connected to the community are they? ” Garcia explains the complexity of the situation: “All of those kinds of things need to be taken into consideration when making decisions because food and agriculture are totally connected to people, to communities, and to laborers.” Thus Garcia provides information and training to people about various aspects of agriculture – whether that involves farms, factories, schools, or other community organizations. He hopes to see a ripple effect, with the information he gives to various community educators in Missouri being spread throughout the state.

Audio and Video Tagged with labor

Different Birthing Practices

From an interview with Christine VanPool, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

VanPool talks about her undergraduate research at Eastern New Mexico University where she studied several cultural groups to understand their different birthing practices.

Issues arising from increased Latino labor force in Missouri

From an interview with José Garcia, Extension Assistant Professor
“There are a number of issues that impact the Latino labor force in rural parts of the state of Missouri,” explains Garcia. Immigration is obviously a big one, along with education, poverty, health, and vulnerability to abuse. Sometimes the main challenges involving Latino agricultural workers results from their past negative experiences with authority and the government. To address these issues, Garcia has coordinated a series of workshops and institutes on cultural competency for extension workers.

“Doing” sustainable agriculture

From an interview with José Garcia, Extension Assistant Professor

Most of Jose Garcia’s work involves doing outreach and teaching about sustainable agriculture to various groups of people, from farmers in rural Missouri communities to students, faculty, and staff at MU. There are three dimensions emphasized by use of the term “sustainable agriculture” explains Garcia. “Because food and agriculture are totally connected to people and to communities and to laborers,” sustainable agriculture refers to an approach to farming and food, in which economic viability, environmental impact, and social responsibility are considered in any decision.