I grew up on a farm in south central Nebraska, which my brother still farms.  We raised crops (corn, wheat, soybeans, and forages) and livestock (hogs, sheep and cattle).  My first farm chore was taking care of laying hens, and raising pigs put me through college.  I achieved the FFA state farmer degree, and was active in 4-H.   As an agribusiness major at the University of Nebraska, I considered working as a banker or agricultural lawyer, but working on a farm in Germany combined with a trip to Morocco in 1987 to visit a brother working in the Peace Corps started me on a different path.   I decided to become a rural sociologist to combine my love of agriculture, food and rural development.

Faculty Website: http://dass.missouri.edu/ruralsoc/faculty/hendrickson-m.php


University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Bachelor of Science, Agricultural Honors and Agribusiness
Minors in English and International Affairs

University of Missouri
Master of Science, Rural Sociology
Thesis: “The NAFTA Waltz: Competing Discourses about a Global Problem.”

University of Missouri
Ph.D, Rural Sociology
Dissertation: “The Kansas City Food Circle: Challenging the Global Food System.”

Work Experience: 

Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia. Current appointment is 50% Teaching, 40% Research and 10% Service.

  • July, 2009 – Present: Undergraduate Advisor Chair, Sustainable Agriculture

Previous Positions

  • September, 2008 – September, 2012: Extension Associate Professor, Department of Rural Sociology.
  • June, 2001 – September, 2012: Associate Director, Community Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture Program, University of Missouri Extension. Served as state specialist for community food systems and coordinated community food systems and sustainable agriculture programming across the state.
  • September, 1998 – September, 2012: Director, Food Circles Networking Project, University of Missouri Outreach and Extension. Coordinated an outreach program that linked farmers and consumers together in a local food system, following the concept of a Food Circle.
  • October, 2000 – August, 2007: Extension Assistant Professor, Department of Rural Sociology.
  • September 2003 – August 2005: Policy Fellow, Food and Society Policy Fellowship Program sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Institute and the Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy.
  • September, 1997 – August, 1998: Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Rural Sociology at University of Missouri.


Awards and Honors:

  • Excellence in Extension and Outreach.  Rural Sociological Society. August, 2014.
  • Meritorius Service Award, National Farmers Union. March, 2012.
  • Food and Society Policy Fellowship, administered by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the Thomas Jefferson Institute, and funded by the Kellogg Foundation. 2003-2005.
  • 2001 Cooperative Service Award, National Farmers Union, March, 2002.
  • Family Farm Leadership Award, Missouri Farmers Union. January, 2001.
Mary Hendrickson

NFU award- pictured from left to right: Roger Johnson (President of National Farmers Union), Mary Hendrickson, and Richard Oswald (President of Missouri Farmers Union)

Mary Hendrickson

Mary Hendrickson pictured with Doug Constance, Sam Houston State University