Dr. Lorna Butler

 Emeritus Professor

Lorna Michael Butler is the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture, and Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Anthropology at Iowa State University , Ames , Iowa . Dr. Butler has her Ph.D. from Washington State University in cultural anthropology with an emphasis on agrarian systems in Africa . She obtained her M. Ed. From Colorado State University in Continuing Education, and her B.S. from University of Manitoba in Human Ecology.

Dr. Butler, who is originally from Alberta , Canada , came to Iowa State University in February 2000 from Washington State University . The office of the Wallace Chair serves as a “home” for the Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture. In her role she facilitates a number of other sustainable agriculture activities. Dr. Butler’s interests are in the human dimensions of sustainable agriculture. She is an advocate for public engagement and participation in analyzing and resolving social and cultural issues impacting the future of agriculture. Particular research and teaching interests include rural-urban interdependency, urban agriculture, entrepreneurial agricultural alliances, and relationships between agriculture, agroecosystems and community viability. She brings a strong commitment to the global and multi-cultural dimensions of sustainability and to learning from existing farming systems. As an agricultural anthropologist, she has lived in and worked in a number of African countries, western Canada , and Europe .

Before coming to ISU she served as Extension Anthropologist in Sustainable Agriculture and Professor, Department of Rural Sociology. She was principal investigator of the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program in East Africa , and leader of the participatory bean breeding research activities. She was affiliated with the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, and co-PI for a number of sustainable agriculture grant programs on agriculture on the urban edge, urban agriculture, cover crops as an avenue to sustainability, and participatory research as a tool for identifying agricultural system innovations, and mechanisms for bridging rural and urban communities.

Recently, with Richard Carkner, she co-authored “Sustainability: Links Between Agriculture, Community and the Ecosystem,” in Interactions Between Agroecosystems and Rural Communities, Cornelia Flora (ed.). Boca Raton , FL : CRC Press LLC. 2001. Other publications include Human Diversity, Food and Agriculture in American Rural-Urban Communities. Human Ecology, 2000, (Autumn 3 (1): 84-92 (with C. DePhelps); The Sondeo: A Rapid Reconnaissance Approach for Situational Assessment. Community Ventures: Partnerships in Research and Education. 1995, WREP 0127. Washington State University ; and Focus Groups: A Tool for Understanding Community Perceptions and Experiences. 1995, Community Ventures: Partnerships in Research and Education. WREP 128. Washington State University (with C. DePhelps and R. E. Howell).