Mary K. Hendrickson

Mary Hendrickson


Associate Professor

Division of Applied Social Sciences


Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security

Research at a glance

Area(s) of Expertise

Research Summary

Over the past two decades, my applied, participatory research agenda has always focused on understanding the rapidly changing nature of how we produce and consume food and the implications those changes have for farmers, communities and ecologies. Recent projects have documented the extent of consolidation in the food and agriculture sector, explored new approaches to anti-trust in the food and agriculture system, and examined the broad context of community-based food systems.

Hendrickson is Associate Professor in Rural Sociology at the University of Missouri and serves as Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security. She is a rural sociologist whose passion is making the world a better place through food. As Director of the ICFS, she focuses on building resilient, food secure communities across Missouri and beyond. Hendrickson has been a leading scholar on consolidation and concentration in the food and agriculture system, the impacts of such a system on farmers, workers and communities, and new ways of conceptualizing policy responses around anti-trust. She is also recognized for her work examining food system alternatives – local food systems, community food systems and organic and regenerative agriculture – particularly the potential they hold for building sustainable livelihoods, thriving communities and resilient futures for rural people.

In addition to her years of teaching and research, Hendrickson spent 15 years as an extension sociologist working to create local food systems in the state of Missouri. She partnered extensively with community groups to increase the amount of fresh, flavorful and nutritious food available by providing technical assistance on marketing, business planning, feasibility studies, policy, food safety and consumer preferences to farmers and community groups.

Hendrickson enjoys engaging learners inside the classroom and outside. In 2020 she was a Fulbright scholar to Iceland and has received several teaching and extension awards. She currently teaches sustainable food and farming courses at Mizzou.

Educational background

  • Ph.D., Rural Sociology, University of Missouri

Courses taught

  • ABM 2215: Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture
  • ABM 4215: Community Food Systems
  • ABM 4315: Organic Production and Marketing
  • ABM 4415: Seeds of Equity
  • AAE 8444: Agriculture, Food and Community