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Webinar: Growing Things: Case Studies in Interpreting Agriculture

January 30

| $40 - $65

Farm to fork – Community Supported Agriculture – Locally sourced foods. Any AASLH member can find ways to connect their institution to these hot topics. Presenters in this webinar share their successes in linking site-specific and culturally distinct stories to the big topic of agriculture. They show that place matters, that nature and the environment provide a foundation to interpret farming, and that institutions from historic houses and historical societies to metro parks (rural, urban, and suburban) have the resources to engage their audiences in “agriculture.” Each attendee will have access to the same questions that presenters addressed as they prepared for the webinar. Webinar attendees can use these questions to launch their own agriculture interpretation.



Date: January 30, 2018

Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm EASTERN (Remember to calculate for your time zone!)

Cost: $40 AASLH members/$65 nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact info@aaslh.org for more information.


Webinar Outcomes:

  • Be introduced to strategies that can help make history museums and historic sites into a “go-to” source to learn more about hot topics related to agriculture and farming.
  • Learn about examples of interpreting agriculture that work.
  • Receive a framework of questions which they can use to launch their own place-based and mission-driven agriculture interpretation.
  • Begin to explore humanities-based strategies to convey a multi-disciplinary topic (agriculture and farming).
  • Better ensure that gender, race, ethnicity, power and authority remain central to all projects, and that rural-urban dichotomies and farming in the city and the country receive attention.


Who Should Attend:

This webinar is suitable for all staff and volunteers in institutions with interest in interpreting agriculture.

About the Presenters:

Debra Reid PhotoDebra A. Reid, Curator of Agriculture and the Environment, The Henry Ford, and author of Interpreting Agriculture at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), will facilitate the session and contribute as opportunity arises. She is past-president of the Association for Living History, Farms and Agricultural Museums and a Fellow of the Agricultural History Society. She taught history and historical administration at Eastern Illinois University between 1999 and 2016, and joined The Henry Ford in January 2017.




Dave Fowler, Director, and Jennifer Frazee, Historical Interpreter, Murrell Home State Historical Site, Oklahoma Historical Society, Tahlequah, Oklahoma



 Headshot Image of presenter Jim SliningJim Slining is a lifelong student of the arts and mysteries of pre-industrial trades and agriculture. Jim has practiced these interests as a front line interpreter at several historic sites. He owns a business which produces museum grade reproductions for public and private restorations and museums, as well as presenting training seminars and workshops. He completed a formal blacksmith apprenticeship at Colonial Williamsburg, continuing some years there as a Journeyman smith. Jim has also operated a family (mostly) subsistence farm using combined animal and tractor power. He currently manages the research collection at Tillers International, a non-profit rural development organization. Though steeped in historic work attitudes, Jim completed an undergraduate degree in aviation and holds a commercial pilot’s license with multi-engine and instrument ratings.



Headshot Image of presenter Debbie GrinnellDebbie Grinnell is the Vice President of Advancement & Campus Develop at Naper Settlement, an accredited outdoor history museum 30 miles west of Chicago, IL. She has held various positions in her 25 year career spent with the museum including registrar, curator, director of preservation services, and VP of museum services, and currently  oversees the philanthropic activities and capital campaign projects for Naper Settlement. She graduated from Eastern IL University with an MA in Historical Administration, and completed her BA in History at Marquette University. Debbie is the museum liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission in Naperville, and has served as an IMLS grant reviewer in years past. She was recently selected by the National Council of Public History for a working group studying Agriculture and Public History, which will be led by Deb Reid.


Headshot Image of presenter Jim LauderdaleJim Lauderdale. During my career it has been my pleasure to work as a historical interpreter at Barrington Living History Farm, farm manager at Nash Farm, and I currently work as the museum director of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum in Tacoma, Washington.  I love history and have a passion for sharing history with others.  At each of these institutions, I have endeavored to engage my audience and connect them with the interesting aspects of each of these historic sites.  I have been a member of ALHFAM since 2012.  I am also a founding member and past-president of the Texas Living History Association. 


Joel Johnson, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, operated by Tacoma Metro-Parks, Tacoma, Washington


Headshot of speaker Pete WatsonPete Watson is the director of Howell Living History Farm, a county-owned, 220-acre heritage site preserving the story of a 280-year-old New Jersey farmstead.  After helping the county’s park commission open the farm to the public in 1984, he worked with county government, and with schools and community partners, to create programs where each year 65,000 visitors learn about agriculture, history and the environment. He is chair of the New Jersey Living History Advisory Council, on the board of the Association for International Agricultural Museums (AIMA), and active in state and national museum advocacy.  He is Past President of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM).