Dean Jefferson BS’74 Rural Sociology
El Salvador ’74–’76, Costa Rica ’77
Dean Jefferson recalls how the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War greatly influenced the thinking of many students on campus during his undergraduate years—and he was no exception. The Peace Corps provided Jefferson the means not only to apply his agricultural skills, which he had developed growing up on a small farm, but also to serve international peace. While in the Peace Corps Jefferson completed a study of farmers
involved in an irrigation and land reform project, served as an agricultural a local farm, and worked with the Salvadoran Department of Natural Resources. Jefferson left his service in Costa Rica with a wife, proficiency in Spanish, and a deepened appreciation for an international perspective on politics, the economy and the environment. His career has encompassed a variety of jobs within and outside of agriculture— he recently retired from Madison College—but he remains rooted in his farming upbringing.