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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: Sorghum: Southern Sugars


Renee Goss

Goss Farms Sorghum

Renee Goss was born in Fort Payne, Alabama in 1957. She grew up in Florida before her family moved back to North Alabama. When Goss was a little girl, her father raised a small plot of sorghum, and the Goss family processed it for him. As a teenager, her path with the family crossed again. She worked with her future mother-in-law, Willodean Goss, at Alvie’s Drive-In. Renee Goss eventually married Mrs. Willodean’s son, Kenneth Goss.

After Renee married Kenneth Goss, she began helping his family harvest and cook sorghum. Throughout the years, she learned the art of cooking sorghum juice into a viscous golden syrup from watching Mr. L.D and Mrs. Willodean. Goss mans the sorghum pan and sells pints and quarts of syrup to community members who stop by their sorghum shed.

Date of interview:

Annemarie Anderson

Annemarie Anderson

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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