Food Studies Program

Matthew Hoffman PhD

Assistant Professor
Matthew Hoffman

Office Location

304E Payson Smith, Portland Campus


(207) 780-4416

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Development Sociology, Cornell University
  • MS in Rural Sociology/City and Regional Planning, Cornell University
  • Certificate in Ecological Horticulture, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • BA, Human Ecology, School for International Training


Matthew Hoffman’s work focuses on rural landscapes and livelihoods.His engagement with food systems scholarship began with an undergraduate thesis on the relationship between agricultural structure and rural development in an international context—a theme that has carried through to his most recent writing on land reform.

At Cornell he completed a master’s thesis on the networks for cooperation that support small farmers.His doctoral dissertation took a broad perspective, recognizing that most of the benefits of sustainable agriculture have the nature of public goods—benefits arising over the long run at the landscape or food-systems level—highlighting the need to situate the fight for healthy landscapes and healthy communities in the context of agricultural politics, land use planning, and regional development policy.

Before joining USM, Hoffman was a faculty member in the Food Studies Program at New York University and a Fulbright Scholar at the Norwegian Centre for Rural Research.

His teaching places a heavy emphasis on connecting students to applied learning opportunities, and he welcomes contact from students and regional food systems organizations to discuss internship and research ideas.When not at his desk, Matthew can be found in the barn or in the woods. 


Food Studies Program Council Member