2018 Nominations Under Review

The NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences recognizes research by a mid-career scientist (no more than 20 years past Ph.D.) at a U.S. institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. Areas considered include plant and animal sciences, microbiology, nutrition and food science, soil science, entomology, veterinary medicine, and agricultural economics. The recipient will be awarded a medal and a $100,000 prize.

For the purpose of the prize, areas of science with applications to agriculture include the following areas and related disciplines:

  • Plant and animal sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition and food science
  • Soil science
  • Entomology
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Agricultural economics

Additional information, including past recipients, eligibility requirements, and more can be found at: http://www.nasonline.org/food-and-agriculture-award.

2018 nominations are currently under review by the National Academy of Sciences.

 

Portrait of Dr. McNutt, Dr. Buckler, and Dr. Schaal

NAS President Dr. Marcia McNutt, NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences Recipient Dr. Ed Buckler, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and Chair of the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences Selection Committee Dr. Barbara Schaal. Photo: National Academy of Sciences

2017 Inaugural Winner

Edward Buckler, Ph.D., accepted the inaugural National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences. Buckler, a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service researcher and adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell University, studies the connection between a crop plant’s genetic makeup and the physical traits exhibited by different strains. His work includes development of a solution to vitamin A deficiency, a life-threatening issue in the developing world.

Buckler and his colleagues used their findings to breed a new kind of maize with 15 times more vitamin A than conventional varieties. This biofortified maize is now widely available in Zambia, where more than half of children under the age of five are vitamin A deficient.

Learn more about Dr. Buckler's work.

Watch video from the reception honoring Dr. Buckler.

 

About the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

The prize was established by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the first ever NAS Prize dedicated to food and agriculture sciences. Beginning in 2017, the new $100,000 prize recognizes one annual recipient for an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. Joint support from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation endows the prize in perpetuity.

Establishing the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences is part of FFAR’s efforts to elevate food and agriculture research in the scientific arena and highlight the critical need for scientists working toward more productive, sustainable agriculture and better health through nutritious food.

Testimonials

Mark Keenum, Ph.D.

Image of Dr. Mark Keenum

President, Mississippi State University

“I am very proud to have been part of the startup of this organization from day one and I commend the full board for giving their time and energy to something that is bigger than all of us. I look forward to working with my esteemed colleagues to continue building on the extraordinary progress we have made to create the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.”

Fayaz Khazi, Ph.D.

Together, we will solve problems like how to pair new ideas with the most relevant technologies, and this will help us all create products that are not just better, but game changing — even life changing.”

Fayaz Khazi, Ph.D.
president of Precision PlantSciences

Pam Johnson

Portrait of Pam Johnson

This collaborative research with public and private partners will build on the investments already made in agriculture research so farmers like me can see the return on those investments through improvements in plants in our fields.”

Pam Johnson
National Corn Growers Association past president, FFAR Board Member

Kees Reinink, Ph.D.

Rijk Zwaan is keen to actively contribute to the world’s food supply and stimulate vegetable consumption. Joining the Crops of the Future Collaborative, with leafy vegetables as one of the focus crops, can help us achieve this mission.”

Kees Reinink, Ph.D.
Managing Director of Rijk Zwaan

-April Carroll, Ph.D., Purdue University College of Agriculture

Interest in the phenotyping event exceeded our highest expectations, which speaks to the critical importance of connecting plants’ DNA information to meaningful traits.”

April Carroll Director of Phenomics Purdue University College of Agriculture

Sally Rockey, Ph.D.

Executive Director, FFAR

The pace of technology is absolutely breathtaking because we have this combination of understanding how things work coupled with new technologies. For agriculture, we want to take advantage of not only the increases to our knowledge base but also this technological pace.”

Excerpt from Heurmann Lecture by Sally Rockey, Ph.D.
seen at left being recognized for her lecture by Ronnie Green, Ph.D., then Chancellor-elect of University of Nebraska-Lincoln