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Members of the IRSA board: Sergio Schneider

Sergio Schneider is Professor of Sociology of Rural Development and Food Studies at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He holds a degree in Social Sciences, Master and PhD in Sociology. His main research interest are sociology of food, agrarian and rural development, family farming and rural policies. He is a CNPq Scholar PQ1B and was visiting fellow in Cardiff University, 2008, Wageningen University, 2012, City London University, 2015. Is current Visiting Fellow at Montpellier Advanced Knowledge Institute on Transitions (MAKIT, 2023) in France and teach Development Theories at COHD-CAU/China. He was president of the Brazilian Society of Economics and Rural Sociology (SOBER, 2011-2013) and Vice of the Latin American Association of Rural Sociology (ALASRU, 2014-2018). – ORCID: Bio/CV:

Members of the IRSA board: Leif Jensen

Leif Jensen is Distinguished Professor of Rural Sociology and Demography at The Pennsylvania State University, USA. He received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Vermont and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His areas of specialization include demography, social stratification, and the sociology of economic change. His publications focus on a range of topics including poverty and inequality, underemployment and employment hardship, informal work, and immigration. In his international work he has studied children and youth, and gender and agriculture. Much of his scholarship focuses on rural people and places, and rural/urban differences. Over the years his research program has been supported by grants from the U.S. federal government and private foundations.

Members of the IRSA board: Myrian Paredes

Myriam Paredes is an Ecuadorian rural sociologist that works as a professor and researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Ecuador. Her teaching and research focusses on heterogeneity studies with feminist perspectives to understand the different faces of Food Sovereignty. Myriam has served as a member of the Latin American Rural Sociology association directorate as well as the co-organizer of the TIERRA group, a rural sociology studies organization of Ecuador. Current research includes leading the project “Evaluating and bringing to scale alternative food networks to address diabetes mellitus and hypertension” implemented by the consortium EKOMER formed by Montreal University, FLACSO and the NGO Ekorural. With her family Myriam runs an agroecological farm outside Quito and a delivery scheme similar to a CSA.

New IRSA board

A new IRSA board has been elected.

President: Sally Shortall, University of Newcastle
Treasurer: Raymond Jussaume, Michigan State University
– Leif Jensen, Pennsylvania State University
– Keiko Tanaka, University of Kentucky
– Jan Flora, Iowa State University
– Carla Gras, National University of General San Martín
– Sergio Schneider, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul,
– Myriam Paredes
– Dr Sarina Kilham, Charles Sturt University
– Dr Rudi Messner, Queensland University of Technology
– Prof Hugh Campbell, University of Otago
– Joost Dessein, University of Gent  
– Ruth McAreavey, University of Newcastle
– Ilona Matysiak, Maria Grzegorzewska University Warsaw
– Fatmanil Doner, Istanbul Medenyet University
– Francesca Galli, University of Pisa
– Motoki Akitsu, Kyoto University
– Lutgarda Tolentino, University of Queensland
– Muhammad Saleh S. Ali
– Koichi Igegami, Kindai University

Board member bios will be posted to the website.

Special Collection of essays on COVID-19, Agriculture and Food

The Editor-in-Chief of Agriculture and Human Values is very pleased to announce a Special Collection of essays on COVID-19, Agriculture, and Food, in Agriculture and Human Values.

This collection assembles in-the-moment essays and commentaries from over 120 scholars, authors, practitioners, farmers, activists, and analysts of agriculture and food systems around the world.  Please find attached the complete list of contributors, listed in alphabetical order (corresponding author last name) and titles of the essays in the Special Collection.  The list is prefaced by my brief editorial introduction.

I am very pleased to let you know that Springer has agreed to allow all articles in this collection to be freely available, for download and viewing, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.  You can find the essays here (note there are four pages):

Statement on the 2021 XV World Congress of Rural Sociology

As previously announced, the IRSA Council recently decided unanimously to postpone the XV World Congress in Cairns due to COVID-19.  The XV World Congress is now scheduled for July 6th through the 10th of 2021 in Cairns, Australia. The venue remains the Pullman Cairns International Hotel.

We will maintain the basic program framework that was originally developed. All sessions and abstracts accepted for IRSA 2020 will be transferred to the provisional program for IRSA 2021. However, spaces will be available for additional oral presentations. We anticipate that the Congress organizers will be able to welcome new abstract submissions beginning June 30th.

We ask those who want to attend the Congress as a presenter to visit the Congress website at

The Congress website provides new time-lines for registration for those who have not registered yet and other important information such as for entry visas and ETAS, accommodations, and so on.

The spread of COVID-19 has highlighted various problems, which are hidden behind conventional socio-economic systems. As for agriculture and rural society, challenges such as vulnerability of current agri-food systems, social exclusion and prejudice to poor and essential workers, frowning on the weak, concentration of disasters or calamity just same as bioconcentration have all been made more apparent. COVID-19 is forcing us to reconsider relations between global and local, central governments and local governments, rural and urban societies. We need serious reflection and a bold transformation of conventional socio-economic systems, including agri-food systems, which until now have been based on the principles of efficiency and profit maximization through selection and concentration.

At the 2021 Congress, I am sure there will be a lot of studies about the impacts of COVID-19 and perspectives post or with new Corona virus. I hope for an aggressive discussion on these on-going issues in Cairns.

Koichi Ikegami

President of IRSA

Conference: Ruralidades en América Latina: convergencias, disputas y alternativas en el siglo XXI

The Latin American Rural Sociology Association (ALASRU) would like to remind rural sociologists everywhere of its upcoming conference to be held from November 25th through the 30th in Montevideo, Uruguay. More information about the conference can be found at

ALASRU is also the proud publisher of the Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Rurales. This journal is published on-line and the most recent issue can be found at