Webinars for Hort375 “Structural Racism in the U.S. Agricultural System” open to the public

Hort 375-9 “Structural Racism in the U.S. Agricultural System” is a Spring course developed by the Department of Horticulture that includes a weekly webinar given by a different expert speaker each week.  Support for this course was made possible by the generous support of donors to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ Annual Fund. The link below can be shared with faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows to register to the webinar series.   All webinars will take place on Fridays at 1:20 PM CT.

Below is the lineup of webinar speakers for Spring 2021:

  • Friday January 29, 2021 @ 1:20 PM | 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?”
  • Friday February 5, 2021 @ 1:20 PM |Dan Cornelius (Outreach specialist @Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center – GLIC-) | “Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the Great Lakes Region”
  • Friday February 12, 2021 @ 1:20 PM |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”
  • Friday February 19, 2021 @ 1:20 PM | Jessika Greendeer| Ho-Chunk seed keeper and farm manager at Dream of Wild Health | “The Parallel Lives of Indigenous Seeds and Their People”
  • Friday February 26, 2021 @ 1:20 PM | Elena Terry| Executive Chef ?Founder of Wild Bearies | “Native American Food Sovereignty”
  • Friday March 5, 2021 @ 1:20 PM| Christy Clark-Pujara| Professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison | “Black Rice in South Carolina 1690-1860”
  • Friday March 12, 2021 @ 1:20 PM | Donale Richards | Michael Fields Agricultural Institute |”Farm Bill Appropriations and Implementation”
  • Friday March 19, 2021 @ 1:20 PM | Nan Enstad| Professor of Community & Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison | “How the Development of Bright Leaf Tobacco Bred White Supremacy in the U.S.”
  • Friday April 9, 2021 @ 1:20 PM | Erika Anna | Faculty Associate in the Nutritional Sciences at UW-Madison | “Racism within Dietary Guidelines and Nutrition Recommendations”
  • Friday April 16, 2021 @ 1:20 PM | Michelle Miller | Associate Director of the 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)
  • Friday April 23, 2021 @ 1:20 PM | Alliance for Fair Food + Coalition of Immokalee Workers| “Historical Perspectives of Migrant Workforce in the U.S. Agricultural Sector”

*Nota Bene:  March 26 and April 2 sessions are only for students officially enrolled in Hort 375.

Topic: Hort375_Structural Racism in the US Agricultural System:  Spring 2021 seminars


This course will provide a historical analysis of the agricultural systems in the US 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 discussions deriving from this course will be a first step to understand the implications of this historical legacy in the US agricultural sector, while highlighting examples of resistance, healing, and transformation of our current food system. 

Register in advance for this webinar: