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Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Spencer D. Wood

woodAssociate Professor of Sociology

PhD, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006
MS, Rural Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1991
BS, Social Work, Missouri State University, 1989


Research and Teaching Interests: Rural communities, social movements, states, racial inequality, sociology of development, and sociology of agriculture and food.

Spencer Wood was born in Denver but grew up outside of Casper, Wyoming. He is married to Kit McCaffrey and together they are the slightly overwhelmed parents of two great boys ages seven and nine. His long standing interest in public sociology and the well-being of rural people found a home in the fields of political and rural sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received his PhD in Sociology in 2006. Since then he has taught at Colorado College and Kansas State University. He has published works broadly ranging on issues of democracy, the sociology of agriculture and food, rural community and development, the sociology of knowledge and science, social inequality, and racial inequality. He has worked for nearly two decades on matters impacting Black farmers including research around the Pigford lawsuit and is a national expert on matters of land tenure. He serves on the Administrative Council and Executive Committee of the North Central Region of the US Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and is a board member of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association in Tillery, NC. He also served as the most recent program co-chair of the Rural Sociological Society annual meeting in New Orleans, LA. This past summer he and his sons spent eight days biking the 240 mile long Katy Trail. Between teaching, writing, and parenting, he also tends a small flock of chickens and a large patch of tomatoes.  

Dr. Spencer Woods' Personal Site

Click here for a brief overview of a collaborative project involving Dr. Wood discussing rural service learning.