Email: aofste@live.unc.edu

Phone:

Office:

Caldwell Hall 105A

Area of Interest:

Bolivia, Andean Region, Brazil, US Midwest, Cerrado

Education:

MSc. Management of Agro-ecological Knowledge and Social Change (Applied Anthropology), Wageningen University
BSc. Agronomy, South Dakota State University

Professional Background:

Andrew earned a B.S. in agronomy from South Dakota State University and a MSc. in Management of Agro-ecological Knowledge and Social Change from Wageningen University. His studies have focused on a critical understanding of development and agrarian change. For his masters’ thesis research he conducted an ethnography of itinerant middlemen, quinoa farmers, and farmer cooperatives in San Agustin, Bolivia. His study addressed the impacts of commercialization and commodification of quinoa on quinueros (quinoa farmers) and the ways that quinoa farmers structure and counterwork the global quinoa market.

Andrew has worked with ONG Chakana, a Bolivian-Dutch NGO, as an assistant to evaluations of development projects in La Paz, Bolivia. The evaluations investigated the social, economic, and environmental impacts of three projects and provided recommendations for their continuation as well as future projects. He has also worked as a monitoring assistant with the Sustainable Tree Crops Project funded by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture and as a social impact research fellow with Root Cause, a Cambridge, MA nonprofit. At Root Cause, working with Social Impact Research, he co-authored two series of reports on chronic homelessness and domestic violence.

He is now pursuing a PhD in the Anthropology program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is studying the social and material reality of North American soybean farmers as they participate in the “soy boom” and defend their own role in the industrialization of soy production in the Southern Cone. His dissertation research project is a comparative ethnography of two North American populations who are producing soybeans in Brazil: Mennonites who migrated in 1968 for religious and educational autonomy and Midwestern farmers who have been migrating since the late 1980s as a response to the US farm crisis.

Research & Activities:

Soy; Soylandia, Transnational farming, Quinoa, Farm work, Commodification