Fellows Network

Michelle Miller

Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems - University of Wisconsin – Madison, Associate Director

Madison, Wisconsin

Michelle Miller, Donella Meadows Fellows cohort 1, is at the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, the campus sustainable agriculture research center. She is a practicing economic anthropologist engaged in participatory research with farmers and others who create our food system. In her 20s she worked on fruit and vegetable farms and in restaurants, while advocating for sustainable agriculture. In the 1990s, Michelle worked for state government and then for World Wildlife Fund on pesticide reduction and served on her food coop’s board of directors. She has worked at the Center since 1997 and serves on the Wisconsin Farmers Union Foundation board.

Current research projects focus on food sovereignty, labor and land tenure, agriculture of the middle and regional food economies, food freight logistics, resiliency and climate change. Michelle is always interested in the power dynamics between cities and their rural regions.  She explores how to communicate systems concepts to diverse audiences who are grappling with systems transformation to make the food system just and operating within natural boundaries. One way has been to talk about emergence, specifically how human social organization emerges from environmental systems, and how economics and more importantly, other measures of human well-being emerge from social systems.

Updated May 2018.