Ag leader to speak at CMU on Monday

A notable leader in promoting sustainable agriculture practices is slated to give a free talk Monday at Colorado Mesa University.

Wes Jackson is the founder and president emeritus of The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, which is working on solutions to produce food by mitigating negative impacts to the environment.

Jackson’s talk is titled: “The 10,000-year-old question: a partial answer.”

The 4 p.m. event in the Meyer Ballroom is free and part of the CMU seminar series, “Natural Resources of the West: Fire, Water and Forests.”

Jackson founded The Land Institute in 1976. He also is the author of several books, including “New Roots for Agriculture,” “Becoming Native to this Place,” “Consulting the Genius of the Place,” and “Nature as Measure.”

Jackson was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992 and Life magazine predicted he would be one of the most important 100 Americans of the 20th century.

Britt Smith, owner of Grand Junction’s SOAR Physical Therapy with his wife, Susan Harris, said he attended a previous talk by Jackson at The Land Institute.

Smith said he is covering some of the costs to bring Jackson to Grand Junction.

“I got to say it was great for me, hearing Wes speak,” Smith said. “I think he’s a great thinker. He’s got a big vision.”

The Land Institute works to domesticate wild perennial plants and turn annual crop species to perennials. The changes can produce an abundance of food while eliminating some of the impacts of industrial farming, according to The Land Institute’s website.

Jackson has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kansas Wesleyan University; a master’s degree in botany from the University of Kansas; and a doctorate in genetics from North Carolina State University.

For more information on the event and the series, visit CMU’s website at


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