AMES, Iowa – The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) has announced that Carolyn Lawrence-Dill has joined its board of directors. FFAR is a national organization focused on building public-private partnerships to fund bold research initiatives addressing challenges in food and agriculture.
“Dr. Lawrence-Dill’s impressive research background, data expertise and her contributions to advancing agriculture will be an asset to FFAR,” said Interim Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer Julie Reynes. “We are excited to have Dr. Lawrence-Dill join FFAR’s prestigious Board of Directors.”
Lawrence-Dill is associate dean for research and discovery in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. In this role, she also serves as the associate director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, which supports research related to global food security, protecting the planet’s resources and agricultural capacity, and navigating a broad array of social challenges for the benefit of Iowa, the nation and the world.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to help shape FFAR’s ongoing efforts to get research outcomes into the hands of producers and consumers,” Lawrence-Dill said. “Working with FFAR will be a new way to help researchers go farther faster - one of the motivations that has long guided my career.”
Lawrence-Dill holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Hendrix College, in Conway, Arkansas. She earned a master's degree in biology from Texas Tech University and a doctorate degree in botany from the University of Georgia, where her research focused on how maize chromosomes segregate during cell division.
After a postdoctoral position in bioinformatics at Iowa State, she worked for the USDA Agricultural Research Service as a research geneticist and lead scientist for the Maize Genetics and Genomics Database. In 2014, she joined the faculty at Iowa State in two departments – agronomy and genetics, development and cell biology. Since then, Lawrence-Dill has served as the elected chair of the Interdepartmental Bioinformatics and Computational Biology graduate program and co-founded a graduate degree specialization in predictive plant phenomics that spans six majors.
She represents Iowa State at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Experiment Station Section and North Central Regional Association of Experiment Station Directors. Her service on other advisory groups includes the National Plant Germplasm Coordinating Committee, the Policy Committee for the American Society of Plant Biologists and the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center. She was a founding member and 2019 chair of the North American Plant Phenotyping Network board of directors and served on the DivSeek International Network board of directors.
In 2020, Lawrence-Dill was honored with a YWCA Women of Achievement Award for eliminating racism and empowering women based on conduct in research, personnel management and building community.
About the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement USDA’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.