Jerry DeWitt, coordinator of the sustainable agriculture extension program at Iowa State University, discusses family farming operations of all sizes that have made significant changes in their operations and moved successfully towards sustainability in the third installment of Lawrence University’s environmental studies lecture series on sustainable agriculture.
DeWitt, professor of entomology in ISU’s agronomy department, presents “Organic Farming in the Midwest” Thursday, Feb. 17 at 4:45 p.m. in Science Hall, Room 102 on the Lawrence campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Focusing on diversification, entrepreneurial activities and creative production and management approaches, DeWitt will discuss ways farmers and ranchers have improved their operations through the use of specialty crops, organic agriculture, local networking and value-added strategies, among others.
A member of the ISU faculty since 1972, DeWitt grew up on a small family farm in Illinois and earned his Ph.D. in entomology at the University of Illinois-Champaign. In addition to his service with the ISU extension program, DeWitt works with the U.S.Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program in Washington, D.C. An avid photographer, he has chronicled the traditional American farm and farm families with pictures for the books “People Sustaining the Land” (2001) and “Renewing the Countryside: Iowa” (2003).
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.