The Land Institute – USA
Hope, Rooted in Science
Igniting a Global Movement for Perennial Agriculture
The Land Institute is a science-based research organization working to develop an alternative to current destructive agricultural practices. Their work is dedicated to advancing perennial grain crops and polyculture farming solutions.
Founded as a nonprofit organization in 1976, The Land Institute is committed to researching and developing food production methods that sustain the land and soil, a precious resource in an increasingly precarious state around the globe. The current agricultural paradigm takes a short-term/high-yield approach that is dependent on heavy chemical applications and petroleum consumption and leads to soil erosion and degradation. They aim to change that because we are all dependent on our soil. It is everyone’s future.
– Wes Jackson, co-founder, The Land Institute
The Land Institute is working to develop ways to grow food in partnership with nature by planting perennial grains in mixtures that can help build and protect the soil. Researchers at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, are breeding perennial varieties of grains that eliminate erosion and help build soil. For example, by crossing high-yield annual species like wheat and sorghum with their wild perennial relatives, the Land Institute has created food crops that don’t require intensive tilling, tending, and spraying.
Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson speaking at the Land Institute’s Prairie Festival, Ann Zummerman sings
Wes Jackson was the co-founder of The Land Institute in 1976 and is presently President Emeritus. Wes is widely recognized as a global movement leader for more sustainable agriculture. He is the author of several books, including New Roots for Agriculture, Altars of Unhewn Stone: Science and the Earth, Becoming Native to This Place, Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture, and Nature as Measure. Life magazine included him as one of 18 individuals predicted to be among the 100 important Americans of the 20th century. Smithsonian in 2005 included him as one of “35 Who Made a Difference.”