About us

Dr. Kendall Thu

Kendall Thu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Northern Illinois University. He received his BA from the University of California, Irvine and his Master’s and PhD (1992) in anthropology from the University of Iowa. From 1993 to 1999 he was the Associate Director of Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health and a Research Scientist for the Institute for Rural and Environmental Health, at the University of Iowa. In the fall of 1999 he joined the faculty at Northern Illinois University in the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Thu was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman to the National Agricultural Air Quality Task Force from 1999-2000. He has chaired the Committee on Public Policy for the American Anthropological Association, is a Fellow in the Society for Applied Anthropology, and is past-President of the Culture and Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association. He is a founding member of the Illinois Farmer Consumer Coalition. His current research focuses on industrial food systems, including: 1) environmental health, public health, and rural socioeconomic change; 2) policy and agricultural politics; and 3) risk factors for farm-related health and injuries. Dr. Thu has published a range of chapters and articles on the rapid industrialization of the livestock sector.

Karen Hudson

Karen Hudson

Karen Hudson lives on a century family farm in Peoria County in West Central Illinois. She has a B.S. degree in education from Illinois State University and is President of Families Against Rural Messes (F.A.R.M). Karen has 10 years experience in working on the issues of industrial agriculture and factory farming. Karen is a Regional Associate for the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project. She was also an appointee of the Illinois-House Senate Joint Livestock Advisory Committee. In 2001 Karen received the Heart of Illinois Sierra Club “Conservationist of the Year” award for her work on factory farm issues. Karen traveled to Poland in 2001 to educate the Polish public and farmers about the devastating impacts of livestock factories. In the summer of 2005 Organic Style Magazine selected Karen as of the country’s fifty most powerful people in the environment. Karen participates in public hearings and speaking engagements, networks with grassroots groups, and educates the public by providing health and environmental information about industrialized animal production. Karen is committed to curbing the trend of industrialized agriculture by “educating and empowering” with sound science and advocating sustainable agriculture.

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Danielle Diamond

Danielle Diamond is the Executive Director of the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP). She is an attorney who has worked extensively as a community organizer and environmental policy advocate, addressing the critical problems arising from industrial livestock production in rural communities. She published “Illinois’ Failure to Regulate Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Accordance with the Federal Clean Water Act” in the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law in 2006. More recently, she co-authored “Where’s the Farmer? Limiting Liability in Midwestern Industrial Hog Production” in Rural Sociology in 2013. She is also the primary author of the pending USEPA Citizens’ Petition for Withdrawal of the Clean Water Act NPDES Program Delegation from the State of Illinois, which is based on the state’s failure to appropriately regulate large-scale industrial livestock facilities. Her work on environmental issues related to industrial animal agriculture began in Illinois and then led to consulting and managing community advocacy campaigns nationwide. Danielle continues her work in environmental policy as a Research Associate with the Department of Anthropology at Northern Illinois University (NIU), a position she held before joining SRAP. Previously, she worked in private practice specializing in land use, zoning, and municipal law with the firm of Diamond & LeSueur, PC. She received her master’s degree in applied environmental anthropology with high honors from NIU in 2007 and her Juris Doctor from the NIU College of Law in 2003.