The RSS is a professional social science association that promotes the generation, application, and dissemination of sociological knowledge. The Society seeks to enhance the quality of rural life, communities, and the environment. This website is intended to serve all those interested in rural people and places.



Follow the links below to see detailed information on available RSS Awards.

Community, Family and Health RIG Student Paper Competition

2017 Ralph Brown Faculty Paper Award

Ronald Wimberley 2017 Student Paper Competition Call for Papers.

Rural Sociological Teaching and Curriculum Research Interest  Group Paper Competition

2017 Paper Competition Call for Papers

RSS Council and Membership Affirms the Need for a Code of Ethics

At the meeting of the outgoing RSS Council on 7 August, 2016 and again at the RSS Business Meeting on 9 August, 2016 voice votes indicated strong support for the adoption of a code of ethics for the Society. In so doing the RSS has affirmed its collective aspiration to adhere to ethical principles as set forth, for example, in the Code of Ethics of the American Sociological Association (ASA). The ASA identifies five general principles: Professional Competence; Integrity: Professional and Scientific Responsibility; Respect for People’s Rights, Dignity and Diversity; and Social Responsibility. Please see the ASA Code of Ethics at Here you can see a narrative description of each of these five principles, a detailed list of ethical standards, and a mechanism through which alleged violations of the code can be submitted, evaluated and adjudicated. At the 10 August meeting of the incoming RSS Council, Council charged RSS President-Elect Doug Jackson-Smith and an ad hoc subset of the RSS Council with the task of drafting a code of ethics for the RSS, using the ASA’s code as a point of departure, but using the codes followed by other kindred associations as appropriate. While there will be a formal period during which RSS members will be invited to provide inpput, comments on this matter can be submitted at any time to Doug Jackson-Smith at Of course, should any adoption of an RSS code of ethics require a change to the RSS Bylaws or Constitution, proper membership voting procedures will be followed. 

NEW Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America brief

by Miranda N. Smith, Richelle L. Winkler (RSS member), and Kenneth M. Johnson (RSS member) Brief No. 03-16 How Migration Impacts Rural America.  To read the entire brief,

View Highlights of 2016 RSS Annual Meeting




The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $17.6 million for research and outreach activities to support the organic agriculture sector. The grants are funded through NIFA’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. – WASHINGTON OCT. 21, 2016

 OREI funds high-priority research, education and extension projects that enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic products.

Applications are due by January 19, 2017. See the OREI request for applications for details.

Click here for more information

Please join us in Columbus, Ohio – July 27-30, 2017 for our 80th annual meeting.



Learn more about the Rural Sociological Society here

Student Paper Awards at the 2016 Annual Meeting:  Olaf Larson Graduate Student Paper Award Pierce Greenberg, Washington State University  Sustainable Agriculture and Food Research and Interest Group Student Paper Award Annabel Ipsen, University of Wisconsin-Madison  Natural Resources Research and Interest Group Student Paper Award Patrick Greiner, University of Oregon

Student Travel Award
Annabel Ipsen, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Community, Health, and Family Research and Interest Group
Ronald Wimberley Graduate Student Paper Anne M. Cafer, University of Missouri

Other Research and Interest Group Awards:

Natural Resources Research and Interest Group
William R. Freudenberg Award of Merit Courtney Flint, Utah State University
Community, Health, and Family Research and Interest Group
Ralph Brown Faculty Paper Competition Mildred E. Warner, Cornell University

Research and Interest Groups (RIGs) are formed around substantive interests of RSS members. RIGs are active participants in annual meeting planning and programming through identification, development, and recruitment for program sessions and field trips. RSS currently has 14 RIGs