Third Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture Planned

February 19th, 2003

AMES, Iowa — The third John Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture will take place March 5-6, with the co-founder of two national organizations that focus on food and democracy as the featured speaker at two events.

Frances Moore Lappe's first presentation is titled "Food, Farming, Fear: The Power of Ideas to Create the World We Want." It will be held March 5 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in rooms 220-240 in the Scheman Building at the Iowa State Center in Ames.

Catherine Woteki, dean of the ISU College of Agriculture, will provide welcoming comments at the event. Following Lappe's presentation, responses will be made by Grace Marquis, ISU assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, and Valent and iacute;n Picasso, ISU graduate student in sustainable agriculture. A discussion period will be facilitated by John Pesek, who was head of Iowa State's agronomy department from 1964 to 1990.

A town meeting format will be used for the second event on March 6 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at 10 South Gilbert in Iowa City. Lappe will present highlights of her previous day's talk, followed by a panel discussion.

The four-person panel will include Ricardo Salvador, chair of the ISU graduate program in sustainable agriculture; Francis Thicke, farmer and Kellogg Food and Society Fellow; Carol Hunt, coordinator for the Johnson County Local Food Systems Project; and Cassi Johnson, ISU graduate student in sustainable agriculture

At both events, questions and discussion from the audience will follow the formal program. Both sessions are free, open to the public and will be followed by receptions.

Lappe founded the Institute for Food and Development Policy in 1975. This nonprofit organization, now known as Food First, provides information on the causes of, and solutions for, world hunger. In 1990, Lappe co-founded the Center for Living Democracy, an initiative that helps people use democracy to solve society's problems.

Lappe's first book, Diet for a Small Planet, was released in 1971 and was instrumental in helping people rethink issues on food and hunger. Her most recent work, Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet, was published last year. It is a narrative of small-scale democratic movements worldwide in which people who lack economic opportunity are working to solve problems of hunger.

The colloquium honors Pesek, who served terms as president of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America. His research led to a better understanding of the effects of farming practices on the environment.

In the late 1980s, Pesek chaired a National Research Council committee that produced Alternative Agriculture, a groundbreaking report that documented how farming systems that used less pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics and fuel could be productive and profitable.

The Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture are the main sponsors of the Pesek Colloquium, along with several other ISU programs, including the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, ISU Extension and Global Agriculture Programs. Other sponsors are the New Pioneer Cooperative in Iowa City and the Women, Food and Agriculture Network.

Contacts: 

Gretchen Zdorkowski, Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture office, (515) 294-6061
Susan Thompson, Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-0705