Current Endowed Chairs

Five people were appointed to the School of Agriculture Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems for 2015. Two of those have now completed their terms; read about them on the Past Chairs page.

Jack Hedin, Featherstone Farm

Jack Hedin's work involves identifying mechanisms that would work to make farm land accessible in Minnesota, taking into account the needs of both farmers and landowners. He intends to interact with the numerous groups in the region working on this issue including the Twin Cities Agricultural Land Trust (TCALT,) Renewing the Countryside, Farmers Legal Action Group, and the Hmong American Farmers Association.
Tenure: 2015-16

Lisa Kivirist, Inn Serendipity B&B and Farm; JDI Enterprises, Inc.

Lisa Kivirist will focus on better understanding and championing the role and impact of women farmers as leaders in all facets of agriculture by identifying and addressing barriers and opportunities in rural Minnesota communities. A particular focus will be on capturing women farmer leadership success stories, building local networks, identifying obstacles and developing solutions.
Tenure: 2015-16

Ron Kroese, Garden Avenue Associates

Through a series of video-recorded interviews, this oral history project is documenting the formation and evolution of what today is known as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), including the federal policy reforms NSAC and its allies have achieved over the last three decades.

Topics covered include:

  • The political and social context surrounding the formation in the early 1980s of what became NSAC

  • The evolution of NSAC from its early days as an informal network of grassroots organizations -- most of which were located in the Midwest, with Minnesota groups playing prominent roles -- to the more formal structure of regional Sustainable Agriculture Working Groups (SAWGs) in the 1990s, to the NSAC of today with its 120 organizations from around the country

  • A review of the policy gains that support organic and sustainable agriculture achieved through the past six Farm Bills

  • A discussion of where the efforts of sustainable agriculture advocates came up short, as well as an exploration of further policy changes needed to advance sustainable agriculture and a healthier food system

Tenure: 2015-16


To reach any of the Chair holders or for more information, please contact the MISA office: misamail@umn.edu, 612-625-8235 or toll free 800-909-MISA (6472).


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