Jessica Crowe is the chief of the Rural Economy Branch in the Resource and Rural Economy Division in the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). Before joining ERS, Dr. Crowe was Chair and Professor of Sociology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She has also served on the faculty at the University of North Texas, Dallas and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Her research interests are in environment-society relations, rural community development, food security, and social networks. Her most recent project was a National Science Foundation-supported research project examining social inequalities in smart development in rural areas, as the project applies to education and healthcare. She has also recently conducted research on perceptions and impacts of energy production—including research on solar, wind, coal, and unconventional oil and gas production. Her past research has focused on local economic development strategies in rural areas, with emphasis on social networks and inclusiveness.