Leslie Hossfeld

Image of Leslie Hossfeld

Professor and Head

Director Mississippi Food Insecurity Project
Associate Director Local Food Systems Development, MSU-UMMC Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities

201 Bowen Hall

North Carolina State University


Dr. Hossfeld is trained in Rural Sociology from North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She has extensive experience examining rural poverty and economic restructuring and has made two presentations to the United States Congress and one to the North Carolina Legislature on job loss and rural economic decline. Dr. Hossfeld has served as Co-Chair of the American Sociological Association Task Force on Public Sociology, Vice President of Sociologists for Women in Society, President of the Southern Sociological Society, on the Executive Council of the North Carolina Sociological Association, and is President Elect of the Alabama-Mississippi Sociological Association.  Hossfeld has worked extensively on economic recovery projects for rural North Carolina counties managing several million in grant funds to support this initiative. Due to her expertise in rural economic development, Congressman Bob Etheridge appointed Dr. Hossfeld to serve on the USDA Rural Growth and Opportunity Board of Advisors.  Dr. Hossfeld joined Mississippi State University as Professor and Head of Department in July 2015. She founded and directs the Mississippi Food Insecurity Project www.mfip.msstate.edu that examines and documents food insecurity and food access in Mississippi and the Global South.  Dr. Hossfeld was appointed to the MSU-UMMC Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities serving as Associate Director of Food Systems/Food Security/Food Access/Economic Development.   Hossfeld also serves as co-lead on the USDA SERA-47 Southern Extension Research Activity Learning Community project to strengthen local and regional food needs and priorities in 13 Southern region states.  Her current research focuses on multi-disciplinary strategies and collaborative partnerships to understand and alleviate persistent poverty in the Southeast, particularly around local food systems development, food access and food insecurity in Mississippi. Hossfeld works to link US local food systems research and initiatives to nutrition, malnutrition (obesity), and health outcomes and health disparities to develop policy coherence linking health and agriculture policy. She is the recipient of the 2018 MSU President's Commission on the Status of Women Faculty Award.