Michaela Hoffelmeyer

Assistant Professor



Office Location

308G Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Office Schedule

Office Hours: Wednesdays: 1:00-3:00 PM

I am an Assistant Professor of Public Engagement in Agriculture. I recently joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison as part of the Dairy Innovation HUB-funded faculty. As part of this position, I will be conducting dairy-related research on topics such as robotics, labor, market concentration, and alternative farm models in the years to come. I earned my Ph.D. at Penn State University in Rural Sociology with a dual-title in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

My work seeks to understand how various groups access agricultural resources and how structural inequalities influence food production and environmental sustainability. Over the past several years, I have worked with rural and urban women farmers, queer/LGBTQ+ farmers, midscale farms undergoing succession and transfer, and meat processing workers.

I use semi-structured interviews, surveys, and ethnographic immersion to understand farmers’ and laborers’ everyday experiences in agrifood production. I then apply feminist, queer, and labor theories to learn from these daily practices to inform agricultural programming and policy on how to make shifts to support viability, well-being, and sustainability. Most recently, I have worked alongside meat processing workers and managers involved in small-scale production to understand how scale can contribute to laborers’ safety and resiliency in the agrifood system.

I enjoy working with community-based agriculture organizations and welcome collaborations from community members looking to address issues surrounding food, farming, and the environment in their community.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Hoffelmeyer, M., Wypler, J., & Leslie, I. 2023. Surveying queer farmers: How heteropatriarchy affects farm viability and farmer well-being in US agriculture. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development12(3). 1-15.

Open access: https://www.foodsystemsjournal.org/index.php/fsj/article/view/1155

Hoffelmeyer, Michaela, Conner, David, Strube, Johann, Hatanaka, Maki, Konefal, Jason, Glenna, Leland. 2022. “Multistakeholder Initiatives and Prospects for Sustainability: The Farmer Perspective.” Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 37(5) 399-407.

Hoffelmeyer, Michaela. 2021. “‘Out’ on the Farm: Queer Farmers Maneuvering Heterosexism and Visibility.” Rural Sociology. 85(4) 752-776.

Wypler, Jaclyn and Hoffelmeyer, Michaela. 2020. “LGBTQ+ Farmers and COVID-19.Journal of Agromedicine. 25(4) 370-373.


Book Chapters

Hoffelmeyer, Michaela. 2022. “Queer(y)ing Foodways: A Feminist Killjoy Critique of Dominate Foodway Narratives,” in Routledge Handbook for Queering Dietetics and Nutrition edited by Phillip Joy and Megan Aston. New York: Routledge.

Hoffelmeyer, Michaela. 2021. “Queerness in the U.S. Agrifood System during COVID-19,” in Gender, Food and COVID-19: Global Stories of Harm and Hope edited by Carolyn E. Sachs, Page Castellanos, and Ann Tickamyer. New York: Routledge.

Hoffelmeyer, Michaela. 2020. “Queer Famers: Sexuality on the Farm,” in Routledge Handbook for Gender and Agriculture edited by Carolyn E. Sachs, Leif Jensen, Paige Castellanos, and Kathleen Sexsmith. New York: Routledge.

Courses Taught:

C&E SOC 340: Issues in the Food System


Recorded Lectures:

Queer Farmers: Sexuality on the Farm. Invited lecture at Iowa State University, Women in Agriculture undergraduate course. Available at: https://vimeo.com/user42671352/review/370122592/c79522103d

Course consultant and certifier for the Texas Center for Local Food’s Equity in the Food System course. Course available for free at: https://www.txfed.org/courses/equity-in-the-food-system. 

Featured on Iowa Public Radio. Some of Iowa’s queer farmers are taking a different approach to agriculture. Available at: https://www.iowapublicradio.org/agriculture/2022-06-30/some-of-iowas-queer-farmers-are-taking-a-different-approach-to-agriculture

Featured on Here and Now. LGBTQ farmers sow the seeds of visibility. Available: https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2022/07/28/lgbtq-farmers-visibility

COVID-19 and Queer Farmers. Gender, Agriculture, and Coronavirus Blog. Available: https://sites.psu.edu/geareblog/

Hoffelmeyer, Michaela, Leslie, Isaac, Wypler, Jaclyn. Farming for Justice: Queering Sustainable Agriculture. Nationwide online webinar through the Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming for Justice series. Available at: https://youtu.be/5sSdSJJKIwc?feature=shared