Rick Welsh

Falk Family Endowed Professor

Rick Welsh joined the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies as a Professor of Food Studies in August, 2012. Prior to taking this position he worked at Clarkson University as a Professor of Sociology. Previous positions have included Policy Analyst with the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture and the Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program for the Southern Region. He also serves as editor-in-chief for the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems published by Cambridge University Press. His research and teaching focus on social change and development with emphases on agri-food systems, science and technology studies and environmental sociology.


Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University

Master of Science in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida

Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the College of William and Mary


Food and agricultural policy, survey and interview methods, technological change in agriculture, organic agriculture, genetically modified organisms (agricultural biotechnology), rural development, livestock industry, anaerobic digesters, climate change and the food system.

Research Projects

Selected Funded:

  • Coast to Cow to Consumer: Marine algae use to enhance milk production, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and recover nutrients. Sustainable Agriculture Systems/National Institute of Food and Agriculture/USDA. 1/1/2021-12/31/2026. R. Welsh CO-PI with 8 other investigators. $375,798 subaward from $10 million total award.
  • Feeding seaweed to advance the sustainability of organic dairy and aquaculture systems. Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative/ National Institute of Food and Agriculture/USDA. 7/1/2021-6/30/2026. R. Welsh CO-PI with six others. $211,000 subaward from $2,900,000 total award.
  • Further evidence for the negative consequences of mosquito net fishing in Barotseland, Zambia. Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant Program (Syracuse Internal Grant Program). R. Welsh and D. Larsen. $30,000. 5/1/2018-5/1/2020.
  • Evaluating the Role of Sustainable Farming Practices in Promoting Food Security While Protecting Endangered Species in the Galapagos Archipelago. Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant Program (Syracuse Internal Grant Program). M. Voss and R. Welsh. $5,000. 5/1/2018-5/1/2020.
  • Intellectual Property, Biotechnology, and Innovation. Taiwan Fellowship Program. R. Welsh, PI. $7,500. 2/1/18/-5/1/18.

Recent Publications

  • Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne, Mary Jo Dudley, Anna Zoodsma, Bhavneet Walia and Rick Welsh. 20220. "Protracted dependence and unstable relations: Agrarian questions in the H-2A visa program" Journal of Rural Studies, 93: 43-54. DOI link.
  • Welsh, R., Y. Chien, A. Traub and L. Glenna. 2021. "Plant Science and Intellectual Property Protections in Taiwan." Rural Sociology. DOI link.
  • Traub, A., R. Welsh, S. Rogers, and S. Grimberg. 2021." Small Farms Using Anaerobic Digestion: A Viable Technology Education and Outreach Effort, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems." DOI link.
  • Larsen, D.A. J. Makaure, S. J. Ryan, D. Stewart, A. Traub, R. Welsh, D. H. Love, and J. H. Bisesi Jr. 2021. "Implications of Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Net Fishing in Lower Income Countries." Environmental Health Perspectives, 129(1). [Commentary]
  • Minkoff-Zern, L-A., Welsh, R., & Ludden, M. 2019. "Immigrant farmers, sustainable practices: growing ecological and racial diversity in alternative agrifood spaces." Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. DOI link.
  • Larsen DA, R, Welsh, A. Mulenga and R. Reid. 2018. "Widespread mosquito net fishing in the Barotse floodplain: Evidence from qualitative interviews." PLoS ONE 13: e0195808. DOI link.
  • Welsh, R., Webb, M., Grimberg, S., & Rogers, S. 2018. "Measuring the results of a workshop on installing anaerobic digesters on smaller livestock farms." Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 1-5. DOI link.
  • Ludden, M., R. Welsh, E. Weissman, D. Hilchey, G.W. Gillespie and A. Guptill. 2018. "The Progressive Agriculture Index: Assessing the advancement of agrifood systems." Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. Advance online publication.
  • Guptill, A., D.A. Larsen, R. Welsh and E. Kelly. 2018. "Do affluent urban consumers drive direct food sales in the Northeast United States? A three-part analysis." Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. Advance online publication. DOI link.
  • Welsh, R., M. Webb and T. Langen. 2018. "Factors affecting landowner enrollment in wetland restoration in northeastern New York State." Land Use Policy. DOI link.
  • Rogers, S., C. Shaffer, T. Langen and R. Welsh. 2018. "Antibiotic-Resistant Genes and Pathogens Shed by Wild Deer Correlate with Land Application of Residuals" Ecohealth. DOI link.