Document Type

Press Release

Publication Date



Fred Kirschenmann, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, opens a four-part Lawrence University environmental studies lecture series that will examine issues related to sustainable agriculture.

Kirschenmann presents “Challenges and Opportunities Facing Agriculture in the 21st Century” Thursday, Jan. 20 at 4:45 p.m. in Science Hall, Room 102 on the Lawrence campus.

In the address, Kirschenmann will discuss the impending end of the current “neocaloric” state of agriculture and its heavy dependence on fossil fuels and other natural resources, suggest possibilities as to what agriculture will look like in the future and explore how these inevitable changes are likely to affect the way we relate to the world around us.

Appointed director of ISU’s Leopold Center in 2000, Kirschenmann is a national leader of the organic/sustainable agriculture movement and president of Kirschenmann Family Farms, a 3,500-acre certified organic farm in Windsor, North Dakota. He recently completed a five-year term on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Standards Board and has chaired the administrative council for the USDA’s North Central Region’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.

Other talks in the series will include Gregory Peter, assistant professor of sociology at UW-Fox Valley discussing cultural connections to physical places and the future of farm land use (Feb.3); Jerry DeWitt, a University of Iowa extension coordinator addressing organic farming in the Midwest (Feb. 17); and Amy Kremen, a graduate student in the College of Argriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, speaking on federal legislation related to organic farming and food labeling (Feb. 24).

The lecture series is sponsored by the Spoerl Lectureship in Science in Society. Established in 1999 by Milwaukee-Downer College graduate Barbara Gray Spoerl, and her husband, Edward, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on the role of science and technology in societies worldwide.