1535 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706
- Regional food systems
- Perennial cropping systems (hazelnuts, apples)
- Agriculture of the Middle (AOTM)
- Food freight
- Climate change
Michelle Miller works as a practicing economic anthropologist engaged in participatory action research. She holds degrees from the UW-Madison in landscape architecture (emphasis: regional planning and restorative ecology), and on sustainable development (emphasis: agriculture and food). While in school, she worked for the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration program, assisting the development of farmer networks, was the DATCP program lead for “T x 2000” soil erosion control program, and worked on watershed projects. Fresh out of school, Michelle worked for World Wildlife Fund in the Great Lakes states and provinces on agricultural pollution prevention. For the last 20 years she has worked with fruit growers to assist them in their efforts to reduce pesticide risk and build regional markets. Current projects focus on agriculture of the middle and regional food economies, food transportation, supply chains, labor and land tenure, resiliency and climate change.
Michelle is a Wisconsin native, a third generation Farmers Union member and a graduate of the Farmers Union Youth program. She worked on fruit and vegetable farms, in restaurants, and coffee houses in her teens and 20s. She is an active member of multiple cooperatives meeting health, banking, housing and grocery needs. She spent almost two decades studying Great Lakes ethnobotany with Keewaydinoquay, an Anishinabe Elder. Michelle was in the inaugural group of Donella Meadows Fellows to study system dynamics. She spent a lifetime dancing (ballet, folk, modern) and exploring improvisational arts. In addition to spending time in northern forests, Michelle enjoys water sports, biking, poetry, and frequenting museums. Michelle is married with a teenage son, living in Madison, Wisconsin.
Selected peer-reviewed articles
Hikaru Hanawa Peterson, Gigi DiGiacomo, Lauri Baker, Christa Court, Michelle Miller, Li Zhang, Gustavo Oliveira, Andrew Stevens, Joseph Nowak, Eyrika Orlando, Bijeta Bijen Saha (in development) “Impacts of COVID-19 on US food supply chain businesses: Regional survey results”. PNAS Research Brief.
David S. Conner, Heleene Tambet, Katherine Selting Smith, Marcia Ostrom, Robert Sirrine, Philip H. Howard, Michelle Miller (in revision). “Apple Grower Research and Extension Needs for Craft Cider”. Hort Technology.
Miller, M., (in revision). “Big data, information asymmetry, and food supply chain management”. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development.
Miller, M. (in revision). “Critical Thresholds for Food Flow: Optimizing Efficiency and Diversity for Resilience”. Frontiers.
Lengnick, L., Miller, M. and Marten, G. (2015) “Metropolitan Foodsheds: A Resilient Response to the Climate Change Challenge?” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. November 2015 DOI 10.1007/s13412-015-0349-2 L.
Miller, M., Anderson, M., Francis, C., Kruger, C., Barford, C., Park, J., & McCown, B. (2013). Critical research needs for successful food systems adaptation to climate change. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2013.034.016
Francis, C., Miller, M., Anderson, M., Creamer, N., Wander, M., Park, J., Green, T., & McCown, B. (2013). Food webs and food sovereignty: Research agenda for sustainability. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2013.034.010
Selected conference proceedings
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Innovations in the Food System: Exploring the Future of Food: Proceedings of a Workshop. On “Innovations in Food Logistics”, Washington, DC. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2020 https://doi. org/10.17226/25523
Miller, M., Day-Farnsworth, L. and Denicoff, M. (2015). Regional Food Logistics: a Stakeholder Process to Inform the Multi-system Redesign for Sustainability. Conference proceedings National Transportation Research Forum, March 2015.
Selected popular press articles
Jackson, R., Miller, M., Porter, P., Day-Farnsworth, L. (2017) “Agriculture can indeed fix our food system – if we reimagine it”. The Washington Post, October 26, 2017.
Critical thresholds for food flow in the Chicago region: Optimizing efficiency and diversity for resilience
Lab measures as a proxy for sensory tasting hard cider
At the Core: Apple Growers of the Upper Mississippi
Stories from the Field – Eco-Potatoes
Stories from the Field – Eco-Apples
Stories from the Field – Local Food
Selected other publications
Miller, M., Holloway, W., Perry, E., Zietlow, B., Kokjohn, S., Lukszys, P., Chachula, N. Reynolds, A., and Morales, A. (2016). Regional Food Freight: Lessons from the Chicago Region. Project report for USDA-AMS, Transportation Division. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.21422.51522
Miller, M. and Lorenz, D. (2015). “Agriculture, transportation and climate change: Considering the future of agricultural freight transport in the Upper Mississippi River Valley” November 2015 on-line http://www.cias.wisc.edu/atcc/
Day-Farnsworth, L., McCown, B, Miller, M., Pfeiffer, A. (2009) Scaling Up: Meeting the Demand for Local Food. UW-CIAS publication. http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5091489
Apple to glass: improving orchard profitability through developing regional craft ciders 6/1/18 – 4/30/22
Cover Crops, Water Quality, and Soil Health Research and Outreach 9/1/17 – 8/31/22
Filling the Truck: Coordinating small supply chains for last mile efficiency 9/30/18 – 9/29/21
Grassland 2.0-Agroecological transformation to perennial grassland agriculture 9/1/19 – 8/31/24
Overcoming Obstacles to Hazelnut Production in the Upper Midwest 9/1/19 – 8/31/23
U.S. Food Flows: A Cold-Chain Network Analysis of Freight Movements to Inform Local and Regional Food Issues 8/18/20 – 1/31/22
Lessons from COVID-19: Positioning Regional Food Supply Chains for Future Pandemics, Natural Disasters and Human-made Crises 9/15/20 – 9/14/22
Impacts and Implications of Transportation Networks on Food Distribution and Accessibility: Rural vs. Urban 8/5/21 – 8/31/22
Guest lecturer 2021
•Nan Enstad, CESoc 341, Labor in Global Food Systems
•Adena Rissman, Forest & Wildlife Ecology, Policy and Politics of Environmental Information
• Claudia Calderon, Horticulture 375 Structural Racism in the US Ag System “Wisconsin Agricultural History Through the Lens of Immigrant Farmers at the Turn of the Last Century (1890-1930)”
• Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Dept of Environmental Health & Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health “Food System Resilience to Disasters: COVID-19, Climate Change, and Beyond.”
• Applied learning event UW Grainger School of Supply Management, “The impact of COVID-19 on supply chains”
Guest lecturer 2020
• Holly Gibbs, Geography 309 People Land and Food “Unpacking Food Sovereignty”
• Nan Enstad, Community and Environmental Sociology 341, Labor in Global Food Systems “Supply chain and labor issues in the US”
• Michel Wattiaux, Animal and Dairy Science, 825 Ruminant Nutritional Physiology “Systems Research”
Academic Staff Assembly (ASA)
ASA Ad Hoc Committee on Land Acknowledgements
Executive Committee, Inter-institutional Network for Food, Agriculture and Sustainability
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Agriculture and Food Transportation
USDA NC1198 Agriculture of the Middle working group