Join us for the next segment of the BASE Lecture Series and explore the agriculture from the middle to understand how we can strengthen this nation’s agriculture infrastructure for a more sustainable and conscious food system for all.
Building a Sustainable Economy lecture series brought to you by: Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Sustainable Bainbridge, and the Bainbridge Public Library.
Frederick L. Kirschenmann, a longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture, shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University (created by the Iowa Legislature to develop sustainable agricultural practices that are both profitable and conserve natural resources) and as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also continues to manage his family's 2,600-acre certified organic farm in south central North Dakota, and is a professor in the ISU Department of Religion and Philosophy.
He served as the Leopold Center's second director from July 2000 to November 2005, when he was named a Distinguished Fellow. He joined the board of the Stone Barns Center in 2004 and was elected president in 2007. In January 2008, he assumed a half-time appointment at Stone Barns, dividing his time between Iowa and New York, to explore ways that rural and urban communities can work together to develop a more resilient, sustainable agriculture and food system. He has held numerous appointments, including the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board and the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production operated by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and funded by Pew Charitable Trusts.
In April 2010, the University Press of Kentucky published a book of Kirschenmann’s essays, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher, that trace evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy over the past 30 years. He has written extensively about ethics and agriculture, with articles published in a number of books and professional journals.
On his own farm he developed a diverse crop rotation that has enabled him to farm productively without synthetic inputs (fertilizers or pesticides) while simultaneously improving the health of the soil. He converted the farm to a certified organic operation in 1976, when he returned to North Dakota after his father became ill. Kirschenmann’s farm has been featured in National Geographic, Business Week, Audubon, the LA Times and Gourmet magazine.
Kirschenmann has been recognized widely for his work. In just the past several years, he received the James F. Beard Foundation Leadership award (2011) and the 2012 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award from Practical Farmers of Iowa. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago.