POWELL, Wyo. - Wes Jackson, a leader in the international movement for sustainable agriculture, will be in Powell Tuesday, Oct. 4, as a featured author in the Northwest College Writers Series.
Jackson will talk about his writing on no-till farming, polyculture, agrarianism philosophies and more at 7:30 p.m. in Room 70 of the Fagerberg Building.
Jackson is president and founder of the Land Institute in Salina, Kans. He is one of 18 individuals Life magazine predicts to be among the 100 “important Americans of the 20th century.” The Smithsonian recognized him in 2005 as one of “35 Who Made a Difference,” and in 2009 he was included in Rolling Stone’s “100 Agents of Change.”
The work of Jackson’s Land Institute has been featured extensively in popular media, including The Atlantic Monthly, Audubon, National Geographic, Time Magazine, The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour and National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
Jackson’s tireless research and push toward sustainable agricultural practices have implications for Wyoming’s economy on multiple levels, if he’s correct in his belief that, “By beginning to make agriculture sustainable we will have taken the first step forward for humanity to begin to measure progress by its independence from the extractive economy.”
The author of numerous books and papers, Jackson’s most recent work, “Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture,” was published in 2010. Some of his other books include “The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge” and “Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place,” co-edited with William Vitek.
In 1994, Jackson sketched his vision for the resettlement of America’s rural communities in “Becoming Native to This Place,” and in “New Roots for Agriculture,” he outlined the basis for the agricultural research at the Land Institute.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kansas Wesleyan University, a master’s in botany from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate in genetics from North Carolina State University, Jackson established and served as chair of one of the United States' first environmental studies programs at California State University-Sacramento.
His belief that "If your life's work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you're not thinking big enough," has led to a continual landslide of honors and awards for the 75-year-old. Jackson is a recipient of the Pew Conservation Scholars award (1990), a MacArthur Fellowship (1992), Right Livelihood Award, known as “Alternative Nobel Prize” (2000), and the Louis Bromfield Award (2010). He’s also received four honorary doctorates and in 2007 the University of Kansas Distinguished Service Award.
Admission to Jackson’s presentation at the NWC Writers Series is free. A selection of his books will be available for purchase and signing during the evening.