Kendra Smith-Howard

Explores 20th century dairy farming and historical use of pesticides/antibiotics in agriculture

The World Within Reach
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Kendra Smith-Howard

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Department: History

History of dairy farming; history of food; history of public health; history of pesticides/antibiotics in agriculture

Campus phone: (518) 442-5375
Campus email:


Kendra Smith-Howard's research focuses on environmental history in the 20th-century United States, particularly in its intersection with histories of agriculture, consumer culture, technology and public health. She is interested in directing research in histories of the environment, agriculture and rural life, public health, and consumer culture, particularly in the late 19th- and 20th-century United States.

Her book, Pure and Modern Milk, calls attention to the ways in which new standards of purity and changing consumer practices reconfigured the work and material environment of the dairy farm in the 20th century.

Her latest project, tentatively titled Green & Clean, traces how the changing practices of cleaning up altered the ways in which Americans knew nature in the 20th century, and tracks the environmental consequences of the pursuit of cleanliness in the U.S.

Smith-Howard previously worked as a seasonal interpreter in Montana's Glacier National Park and taught in Salatiga, Central Java, Indonesia. She earned her doctorate in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007.