AMES, Iowa – Ernie Shea, president of Solutions from the Land, a not-for-profit organization based in Lutherville, Maryland, will present the 2022 William K. Deal Leadership Lecture Sept. 28, at Iowa State University.
He will present “21st Century Agricultural Renaissance: Solutions from the Land” at 7 p.m. in Dolezal Auditorium, room 0127 Curtiss Hall on campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Drawing from his life experiences and lessons learned across a career spanning more than four decades, Shea will share a 21st Century Renaissance vision for agriculture. He’ll describe an environment where producers are valued by society not just for the food, feed, fiber and energy they produce, but for ecosystem services including the water they filter and store, the carbon they sequester in soil, the wildlife and biodiversity they enhance, and more broadly, how they improve livelihoods for themselves, their families, their community, the nation and the planet.
Shea will challenge producers to reimagine their businesses and suggest pathways and tactics to transition from linear food and agricultural systems to sustainable, profitable and resilient circular systems that lay the foundation for a world of abundance on many scales.
With more than 40 years of experience at the global, national, state and local levels, Shea has continually worked to improve the ability of agricultural landscapes to sequester carbon, protect water quality, improve public health and ensure a growing and resilient food system. He has held several leadership positions over the years, including Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Agricultural Development and Resource Conservation in Maryland. Currently, he facilitates the 25x’25 and North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliances, which seek to combat climate change.
William K. Deal, an Iowa State alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education, established the lecture series to help prepare future leaders and innovators in agriculture. The lecture is organized by the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and co-sponsored by the Committee on Lectures funded by the Government of the Student Body.