Graduate Research: Joel Scherer
History | November 01, 2013
Joel Scherer (M.A. candidate 2013) won a Herbert Hoover Travel Grant from the Board of Trustees at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association in order to fund travel to conduct research in their archives in West Branch, Iowa. He conducted his research in August 2013.The following is a brief description of his project:
My research project is an intellectual history of US western agriculture. Specifically, it examines how farming in the West informs both our current milieu of industrialized food processing and the alternative foodways that challenge its hegemony. I analyze a series of misconceptions occurring throughout the agricultural history of America’s prairie regions and attempt to show how they resonate with new sociological critiques of industrial food production. At Hoover I examined the papers of several USDA and state-level agricultural economists that conducted ag research during the early 20th century, New Deal, and post-war periods, trying to gain insight into how they conceptualized the farm in their respective eras.