Lisa Markowitz

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Lisa Markowitz

"I have been teaching at U of L since 1996. My research has taken me from peasant villages in the Andean highlands of Peru and Bolivia to the Farmers Market on Bardstown Road. The theme that runs through my projects is a concern with the ways local organizations cope with large and powerful institutions and interests (export firms, development programs, and agribusiness). In Peru, where I lived in an alpaca raising community in the late 1980s, the herders were organizing, with the help of NGOs, to challenge the export industry and to receive fair prices for the wool they produced. A few years ago I returned to the area to better understand the role of the NGOs with regard to this grassroots social movement. In between, I worked in Bolivia as a member of an interdisciplinary project funded by USAID, which allowed me to see close up how development works (or doesn't exactly) and learn how peasant communities dealt over time with outside "assistance." Most recently, my work has focused on the local food movement here in Kentucky where farmers and various food activists have been trying to create alternatives to our current reliance on the corporate food chain. The research at Bardstown Road (and in other area markets) is based on the idea that the expansion of urban demand for locally raised foods can contribute to the prosperity of rural communities while affording city residents healthier and tastier diets." [1]

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  1. Lisa Markowitz, University of Lousiville, accessed September 23, 2008.