Associate Professor, Food Studies
Ph.D., Geography, University of California, Berkeley
Sustainable Agriculture and Development, Cornell University
Race, labor, and immigration in the food system; agricultural politics and policy; sustainability studies
Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern is an Assistant Professor of Food
Studies at in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, and an affiliated
faculty member in the Departments of Geography in the Maxwell School and
Women's and Gender Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Minkoff-Zern’s research and teaching broadly explores
the interactions between food and racial justice, labor movements, and
transnational environmental and agricultural policy. This focus builds on her
extensive experience with agricultural biodiversity projects abroad, combined
with work on immigrant health issues domestically.
In her book, The New American Farmer: Immigration, Race, and the Struggle for
Sustainability (MIT Press, 2019), she explores
the experiences of Latino/a immigrant farmers as they transition from
farmworkers to farm owners, offering a new perspective on racial inequity and
sustainable farming. Dr. Minkoff-Zern argues that immigrant farmers,
with their knowledge and experience of alternative farming practices,
are—despite a range of challenges—actively and substantially contributing to
the movement for an ecological and sustainable food system. She has also
published in journals such as Geoforum, The Journal of Peasant Studies, Food,
Culture, and Society, Antipode, Agriculture and Human Values,
and Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, among others.
Minkoff-Zern is currently involved in two new research projects. The first
project looks at the labor and health conditions of government contracted
(H-2A) guestworkers workers in U.S. agriculture. This project is a mixed method
collaboration with scholars from Syracuse and Cornell Universities from Public
Health Economics and Rural Sociology. Combining in-depth interviews with quantitative
analysis of government data, this project investigates the conditions and
experiences of agricultural guestworkers, as well as farmers, who use the
program throughout the Northeast region. In a second project, she is
collaborating with colleagues in the departments of Public Health and Marriage
and Family Therapy, looking at refugee gardening, mental health, and food
sovereignty. This innovative study is advancing understandings of gardening as
a moderator for reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, particularly
among those who have been subjected to systemic violence or trauma.
Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne. 2019. The New American Farmer: Immigration, Race, and the Struggle for
Sustainability. MIT Press.
Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne, Rick Welsh, and Maizy
T Ludden. 2019. “Immigrant Farmers, Sustainable Practices: Growing Ecological
and Racial Diversity in Alternative Agrifood Spaces.” Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Early View Online Sept
Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne. 2018. “Race, Immigration, and the
Agrarian Question: Farmworkers Becoming Farmers in the United States.” The Journal of Peasant Studies. Volume
45 (2): 389-408.
Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne and Sea Sloat. 2017. “A New Era of
Civil Rights?: Latino Immigrant Farmers and Exclusion at the United States
Department of Agriculture.” Agriculture
and Human Values. Volume 34 (3): 631-643.
Levkoe, Charles Z, McClintock,
Nathan, Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne,
Coplen, Amy K., Gaddis, Jennifer, Lo, Joann, Tendick-Matesanz, Felipe, and
Weiler, Anelyse. 2016. “Forging Links Between Food
Chain Labor Activists and Academics.” Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems,
and Community Development. Special
Issue on Labor in the Food System. Volume 6 (2).
Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne and Megan Carney. 2015. “Latino Im/migrants, “Dietary Health,” and
Social Exclusion: A Critical Examination of Nutrition Interventions in
California.” Food, Culture, and
Society. Volume 18 (3).
Minkoff-Zern. Laura-Anne. 2014. “Subsidizing Farmworker
Hunger: Food Assistance Programs, Farmworker Gardens, and the Social
Reproduction of California Farm Labor.” Geoforum.
Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne. 2014. “Hunger Amidst Plenty: Farmworker Food Insecurity and Coping Strategies in
California.” Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice
and Sustainability. Special
issue on Interstitial and Subversive Food Spaces. Volume 19 (2).
Rachel, Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, and
Jade Sasser. 2014. “Race, Space, and Nature: An Introduction and Critique.”
Introduction to guest edited special issue. Antipode:
A Radical Journal of Geography. Volume 46 (5).
Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne. 2014. “Knowing “Good Food”:
Immigrant Knowledge and the Racial Politics of Farmworker Food Insecurity.” Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography. Special Edited Volume on Race, Space, and
Nature. Volume 46 (5).
Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne. 2014. “Challenging the Agrarian
Imaginary: Farmworker-Led Food Movements and the Potential for Farm Labor
Justice.”Human Geography. 18 Volume 7 (1).
Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne. 2012. “Pushing the Boundaries of
Indigeneity and Agricultural Knowledge: Oaxacan Immigrant Community Gardening
in California.” Agriculture and Human
Values. Volume 29 (3).