Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA) president Charlie Greene confirmed today that nationally renowned sustainable agriculture expert Fred Kirschenmann will present the keynote address at this year’s Owasco Lake Day on Wednesday, June 27 at the pavilion and surrounding areas of Emerson Park in Auburn.
Frederick L. Kirschenmann shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University (ISU) and as president of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. He also manages his family's 2,600-acre certified organic farm in south central North Dakota. He helped found, and for 10 years was president of, Farm Verified Organic Inc., an international private certification agency.
“OWLA is honored that Dr. Kirschenmann accepted our invitation to join us for this year’s celebration of Owasco Lake,” Greene said. “I am glad that we can invite the community to come, listen, and talk with Fred. As a national and international leader in sustainable agriculture, he has a very important voice in sustainable agriculture.”
Kirschenmann is a professor in the ISU Department of Religion and Philosophy and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He has held numerous appointments, including the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board and the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. He served as the Leopold Center's second director from July 2000 to November 2005, when he was named a Distinguished Fellow. He joined the board of the Stone Barns Center in 2004 and was elected president in 2007. In January 2008, he assumed a half-time appointment at Stone Barns, dividing his time between Iowa and New York, to explore ways that rural and urban communities can work together to develop a more resilient, sustainable agriculture and food system.
In April 2010, the University Press of Kentucky published a book of Kirschenmann’s essays, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher, which trace evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy over the past 30 years. He has written extensively about ethics and agriculture, with articles published in a number of books and professional journals.
Kirschenmann also serves on several boards and chairs the Whiterock Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that manages a 5,000-acre conservation area in west-central Iowa. Kirschenmann helped convene and continues to be active on Agriculture of the Middle, a multi-state task force that focuses on research and markets for midsize American farms.
Kirschenmann’s farm has been featured in numerous publications including National Geographic, Business Week, Audubon, LA Times, and Gourmet magazine. He has been recognized widely for his work, receiving the 2011 James F. Beard Foundation Leadership Award, 2012 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award from Practical Farmers of Iowa, and the National Resources Defense Council Thought Leader Award, among others.
The event is being sponsored by the Owasco Watershed Lake Association, Cayuga Community College, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology, Finger Lakes Institute, and Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency.
Attendees of the event will have free parking and admission. The pavilion is an accessible facility.