Associate Professor

Daniel Tobin is a rural sociologist whose research focuses on how small- and medium-scale farmers respond to external influences like market forces, policy mechanisms, and environmental changes. Particular interests include sociology of agriculture, development sociology, political economy of agricultural development, crop diversity conservation, and seed systems. Tobin currently has projects in Peru, Mexico, Vermont, and Uganda. In the classroom, Tobin also focuses on topics of rural and agricultural development, teaching large introductory lectures, graduate courses, and a travel course to Peru through which students partner with a local NGO and contribute to ongoing research with small-scale farmers in the highlands.


  • Tobin, D. (2022). Towards quantifying relational values: crop diversity and the relational and instrumental values of seed growers in Vermont. Agriculture and Human Values.
  • Guo, J., Tobin, D., & Mares, T. (2022). Bhutanese-Nepali refugee gardeners and their seed systems: Placemaking and foodways in Vermont. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, Community Development, 11(3): 197-210.
  • Isbell, C., Tobin, D., & Reynolds. T.W. (2021) Motivations for Maintaining Crop Diversity:   Evidence from Vermont’s Seed Systems. Ecological Economics, 189: 107138.
  • Reynolds, T.W., Tobin, D., Otieno, G., McCracken, A.C.*, & Guo, J.* (2020). Differences in crop selection, resource constraints, and crop use values among female- and male-headed smallholder households in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(4), 65-92.
  • Kolodinsky, J., & Tobin, D. (2020). Teaching about Diversity and Racism in Food Systems: An Example for Agricultural Economics and Related Departments. Applied Economics Teaching Resources, 2(6).
  • Tobin, D., & Glenna, L. (2019). Value chain development and the agrarian question: Actor perspectives on native potato production in the highlands of Peru. Rural Sociology, 84(3), 541-568.
  • Tobin, D., Jones, K., & Thiede, B.C. (2019). Does crop diversity at the village level influence child nutrition security? Evidence from 11 Sub-Saharan African countries. Population and Environment, 41(2), 74-97.
  • Jones, K., & Tobin, D. (2018). Reciprocity, redistribution and relational values: Organizing and motivating sustainable agriculture. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 35, 69-74.
  • Tobin, D., Bates, R., Brennan, M., & Gill, T. (2018). Peru potato potential: Value chain development and biodiversity conservation, 33(1) 19-32.

Associations and Affiliations

  • Gund Institute for the Environment
  • Food Systems
  • Rural Sociology
  • Agriculture and Human Values

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

agricultural development, food systems, development sociology, rural sociology


  • Ph.D., Penn State
  • M.S., Penn State
  • B.A., Bowdoin College


Office Location:

203 Morrill Hall

Office Hours:

By Appointment

Courses Taught

  • CDAE 1020: World Food, Population, and Sustainable Development
  • CDAE 1040: US Food, Social Equity, and Development
  • CDAE 2710: Community and International Economic Transformation
  • CDAE 6260: Community Economic Development