On September 3, 2010 I was fortunate to become acquainted with Fred Kirschenmann, a visionary in the field of agriculture. He spoke at the University of Colorado’s “Local Foodshed Commons” conference which was sponsored, in part, by Transition Colorado.
Who is Fred Kirschenmann?
Fred Kirschenmann considers himself to be a philosopher and a farmer, holding a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He was an organic farming pioneer, who transformed his family farm in North Dakota to certified organic back in 1980. The farm is a natural prairie livestock grazing system that combines a nine-crop rotation of cereal grains, forages, and green manure.
Kirschenmann is a Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He is President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York, also the site of the renowned eat-local Blue Hill Café. He holds and has held numerous other offices and appointments, including positions with the USDA, and in academia as Dean of Curry College in Boston, Massachusetts.
In 1995, Kirschenmann was profiled in an award-winning video, “My Father’s Garden,” by Miranda Productions, Inc. A quote worth noting from the movie producer is this…”Food cannot grow forever on a damaged earth, but Fred’s lesson is that we can bring health and beauty back into the Garden, if we are willing to cooperate with nature’s infinite intelligence. This wisdom holds the secret to our children’s future.”
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