Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS)–Nat’l Pres-Elect
Assoc Prof, Agricultural Economics & Rural Sociology
College of Agriculture, Communities, and Environment
Kentucky State University
Marcus Bernard is currently an Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at Kentucky State University and an Interdisciplinary Research Leader Fellow (alum) with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His research focuses on resilience and food security through a community-based participatory research lens and seeks to understand how marginalized groups build community through relationships and resistance. Prior to this, he served as the Director of the Rural Training and Research Center for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund in Epes, Alabama. There, he led an 8-member team in developing workshops and trainings for socially disadvantaged farmers and landowners, cooperatives, outreach to low-income rural communities, and developed partnerships with land-grant universities across the Southern United States. Bernard’s dedication to rural development originated from his own rural roots in North Carolina on his family’s small produce operation. Throughout his career, he has integrated working for and researching rural-based organizations and communities. Academically, Bernard has built on his relationships with community organizations, small businesses, and farm families to research economic development, public health, and opportunities for youth in agriculture throughout the Black Belt Region. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Kentucky in Rural Sociology and Medical Sociology where his studies focused on intersections of race, gender, and class. His dissertation research snapshots these intersections through a gendered lens on how Black men farming construct their ideas about masculinity and gender roles. For his MS in Agricultural Economics, which he received from North Carolina A&T State University, his thesis research focused on access to health care providers and utilization of health care across the 12 state Black Belt Region. Bernard builds on his professional experiences as practitioner and academic in his current role at Kentucky State University by facilitating connections between research and outreach.