Wes Jackson

President of The Land Institute, Wes Jackson earned a BA in Biology from Kansas Wesleyan, an MA in Botany from University of Kansas, and a PhD 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”). In 2005 he was honored by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 35 innovators who made a difference – a list that also included Bill Gates, Frank Gehry, Maya Angelou, Yo-Yo Ma and Annie Liebowitz.

“Here’s this 120-year window in which we find ourselves and it’s probably the most important window in the history of homosapien.” – Wes Jackson, Dirt! The Movie