The Rural Sociological Society (RSS)

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.


2016 Rural Sociological Society

MS, PhD and Early Career Research Award Competition

This year the RSS Council has authorized the use of Endowment funds to support Master’s theses, Ph.D. dissertations, and Early Career Research awards to support research activities conducted during the 2016-2017 fiscal/academic year. Proposals are invited to conduct research on all topics encompassed by the field of rural sociology. The awards are designed to stimulate research that will help develop the careers of future rural sociologists and support the broader mission of the Rural Sociological Society. The RSS Endowment Committee will oversee the awards process.  

The RSS Master’s Thesis and Dissertation Research Award Competition 

Graduate student members of the Rural Sociological Society are eligible to apply for master’s thesis and Ph.D. dissertation research awards. Dissertation awards can be made for up to $5,000. Master’s thesis awards can be made for up to $2,500. Proposals approved for funding may receive budget allocations below the requested amounts, based on availability of funds and recommendations of the Endowment Committee.

 The RSS Early Careers Research Awards Competition 

Members of the Rural Sociological Society who received their Ph.D. on or after January 1, 2011 are eligible to apply for RSS Early Career Research awards. Because the size of these awards is modest, proposals will generally involve small-scale projects that will enhance opportunities for scholars to pursue expanded research efforts in the future. The Early Career Research awards have previously been made for up to $5,000.

 Submission Guidelines for Awards Competitions 

The deadline for submission of proposals and required supporting materials is February 19, 2016. Proposals received after that date will not be reviewed or considered for funding. All proposals must be submitted electronically and in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format to Chelsea Schelly at, co-chair of the Awards and Endowment Committee. Please contact Chelsea Schelly for  proposal requirements. Nominees who are unable to meet these submission requirements and/or who cannot save their files in .pdf format should contact Chelsea at 906-487-2113 or at the email listed above at least two weeks in advance of the due date so that alternative arrangements for submission can be made.  Click here for more information

Deadline: February 19, 2016

Notification Date: May 2016

Award Date: July 2016 or by special arrangement


RSS Awards Committee seeking nominations for the following awards:

  • Distinguished Service to Rural Life
  • Distinguished Rural Sociologist
  • Excellent in Extension and Public Outreach
  • The Fred Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award
  • The Olaf Larson Graduate Student Paper
  • RSS Certificate of Appreciation
Nominations due by February 19, 2016
Click here for more details.



RSS Abstract Submission Deadline has been extended:

Submit your abstract by Tuesday, February 16 at 11:59pm (EST)

Rural Sociological Society 79th Annual Meeting

Toronto, Canada

August 7-10, 2016

Understanding Rural Social Class in an Era of Global Challenge

The 2016 RSS Annual Meeting website is available <>

For submission guidelines <click here> For more information about the types of submissions we seek <click here> Login to submit an abstract here <click here>

 Join RSS for 2016

  • Our membership year runs from January 1 to December 31.
  • Please renew your membership today by clicking here.
  • The Rural Sociology Society is not complete without you.
  • Questions, issues, comments? Please contact the RSS Business office, or call 309.298.3518


Mary Hendrickson, University of Missouri discusses mergers and acquisitions in the meatpacking industry in a Mother Jones article entitled “The Oregon Militia Is Picking the Wrong Beef With the Feds” 13 January 2016

To read the complete article use this link

Carmen Bain, Iowa State University

Campbell’s GMO Move Heralds Change in Labeling Debate.

The recent move by Campbell Soup company to commit to labeling all its products containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients could mark the beginning of a major shift in the fight over biotech ingredients, say industry experts.

According to Carmen Bain, a sociology professor at Iowa State University who studies GMO labeling, the move is “very significant and potentially a game changer.” Bain adds, “Campbell’s decision and the arguments they are making to justify their decision, undermines much of the food labeling case for not labeling. For more information, click the following link