Biography

Wes Jackson, President of The Land Institute, earned a B.A. in biology from Kansas Wesleyan, an M.A. in botany from University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in genetics from North Carolina State University. He established and served as chair of one of the country’s first environmental studies programs at California State University-Sacramento and then returned to his native Kansas to found The Land Institute in 1976. He is the author of several books including New Roots for Agriculture and Becoming Native to This Place and is widely recognized as a leader in the international movement for a more sustainable agriculture. He was a 1990 Pew Conservation Scholar, in 1992 became a MacArthur Fellow, and in 2000 received the Right Livelihood Award (called the “alternative Nobel prize”). Life magazine named Wes Jackson as one of 18 individuals it predicts will be among the 100 “important Americans of the 20th century.” In November 2005, Smithsonian called him one of “35 Who Made a Difference.”

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For hundreds of years, it wasn’t uncommon for farmers in Europe to till their land and plant their crops only to see the soil wash away by year’s end. Before they started all over again, many had to carry the lost soil back up to the fields. Piles of dirt overflowed oxcarts or burdened the […]

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The Trouble with Agriculture Across the farmlands of the U.S. and the world, climate change overshadows an ecological and cultural crisis of unequaled scale: soil erosion, loss of wild biodiversity, poisoned land and water, salinization, expanding dead zones, and the demise of rural communities. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) …

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