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What does rural have to teach us? Rural Transformations in the United States

What does rural have to teach us? Tune in for a discussion between journalist Grace Olmstead and Brooks Lamb from the American Farmland Trust on June 7, 2024 from 12:45 to 2:30 pm EST.

Some of the most promising advances in sustainable and equitable development are unfolding in rural settings. Here, a diverse group of stakeholders are reshaping food systems, leveraging local knowledge, bolstering climate resilience, and enhancing community participation in the developmental journey. The Duke World Food Policy Center is proud to co-sponsor the Rural Transformations in the United States visual seminar series, hosted by the Center on Modernity in Transition (COMIT).

What does rural have to teach us



  • Grace Olmstead is a journalist with bylines in The American Conservative, The Week, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of Uprooted (Penguin Random House).
  • Brooks Lamb is the Land Protection & Access Specialist at American Farmland Trust. He is the author of Love for the Land: Lessons from Farmers Who Persist in Place (Yale University Press).


  • Kerilyn Schewel is a Board Member of COMIT. She is co-director of the Duke Program on Climate-Related Migration and Lecturing Fellow in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Her research examines the relationship between migration and development, with a current focus on immobility, rural livelihoods, and climate change. Her book, Moved by Modernity: How Development Shapes Migration in Rural Ethiopia, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.
  • Lee Miller is a Senior Research Fellow at COMIT. He is a Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law School, where he teaches on agricultural and environmental law. Miller also has amassed expertise in environmental advocacy, policy innovation, and coalition-building in U.S. food and farm movements. At the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, Miller coordinated a multi-law school farm bill research project promoting agricultural sustainability and justice.