On October 10, 2018, the Iowa State University Department of Sociology welcomed Dr. Phil Howard, associate professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University, to present the annual George M. Beal Lecture in Rural Sociology.
Howard’s lecture, “Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Meat Processing Industry,” discussed how government subsidies have increased the power of the three largest meat processors worldwide.
"Dr. Howard’s talk provided a window into food systems and food production that most people don’t usually see. It was fascinating and eye-opening," explained Leana Bouffard, professor and chair of the Department of sociology. "It’s important for students in different majors like animal science, biology or agriculture and society, or even marketing of food products, to see how their specific interests and work fits into the broader, global picture."
The George M. Beal Distinguished Lectureship series honors the life and contribution of emeritus professor and former chair of the Department of Sociology, Dr. George M. Beal. The series, created in 2014 after a generous gift of $25,000 from Iowa State alumni Don and Joye Dillman, brings visibility to the important work of rural sociologists.
Previous distinguished scholars include:
- 2017 – Dr. John Iceland, Pennsylvania State University, “Portrait of America: How Demographic Change and Economic Inequality are Reshaping Society”
- 2016 – Dr. Linda Lobao, Ohio State University, “The Geography of Inequality: Local Governments and Community Well-Being Across America”
- 2014 – Dr. Claude Fisher, University of California, Berkeley, “Rural Life, Rural Iowa, and the Making of American Character”