December 8, 2010

Jerry R. DeWitt, known throughout the country for his decades-long leadership in sustainable agriculture, will speak at the University of Kentucky at 4 p.m. Mon. Dec. 13. His talk is free and open to the public.

DeWitt, former director of Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will speak on "Enhancing the Sustainability of the Farm and Food Systems." This will be the opening keynote address during a UK College of Agriculture faculty convocation, "The Farms and Food System of the Future: Exploring Opportunities in Research, Education and Extension."

DeWitt is an entomologist who coordinated Iowa State University Extension's Pest Management and the Environment Program and its Sustainable Agriculture Program before joining the Leopold Center. On three separate occasions, he has served as interim national program leader for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.

DeWitt is also a skilled photographer with two books to his credit: "People Sustaining the Land" and "Renewing the Countryside - Iowa."

Anyone who is interested in sustainable practices in the realms of agriculture and food would find DeWitt's talk interesting and informative, said Lee Meyer, UK agricultural economics extension professor and chair of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Working Group.

"He has spent his career being a bridge between university research and the communities and people who could benefit from that research," Meyer said.

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is one of the nation's leading research and education centers for sustainable agriculture practices. According to its website, the center's work has led to cleaner water, better natural resource conservation and greater agricultural vitality in Iowa.

The keynote address will take place in Room 230 of the UK Student Center, located at the corner of Limestone and Avenue of Champions. Visitor parking is available in Parking Structure No. 5 next to Kennedy Bookstore on Limestone. Contact Joan Enerlich by e-mail at joan.enerlich@uky.edu for more information.

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