About Me

A 2006 graduate of The Ohio State University, Dr. Jason Parker returned in 2017 as a faculty member. He is an anthropologist with specializations in rural society, agriculture, natural resources, and environment. Jason’s background in Anthropology is multidisciplinary with colleagues in agricultural sciences, natural resources, watershed ecology, communications, and a host of social sciences, notably Rural Sociology. His work has focused on household and community influences on decision-making related to farm labor, conservation, health care, social sustainability, on-farm food safety (keeping diseases out of your food), and animal biosecurity (keeping diseases out of food animal barns). After a year as a postdoctoral scientist, and another as a research scientist in OSU’s Horticulture and Crop Science program, Jason spent five years as a Research Professor in Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont. His current research investigates small and medium scale farm factors that influence the decision to implement food safety practices, hire non-family farm labor, and opportunities to implement micro-farm principles in a de-industrialized city like Mansfield. Jason is currently writing about farm labor management decision-making and the effects of small-scale farmer decisions regarding on-farm food safety on regional food systems. In addition to Introduction to Rural Sociology (RS 1500), Jason teaches Society and Natural Resources (ENR 2300), Communicating Environmental and Natural Resources Information (ENR 2367), and the GE Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture (ENR 3100). He is actively developing two additional courses, one for the new GE theme “Citizenship in a Just and Diverse World” (ENR TBA), and another for the GE theme “Race, Ethnic, and Gender Diversity” that focuses on the people in our food system. In his spare time, Jason is an adult leader in Scouting BSA with his son and daughter (did I mention I am an Eagle Scout?), occasionally brews his own beer, camps, hikes, may be seen on a bike from time to time, builds large Lego sets with his kids (I do it for the kids!),  kayaking Ohio’s scenic lakes, and sailing.