Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Congratulates Edward Buckler, First Recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture 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

 

Edward Buckler, Ph.D., a research geneticist focused on nutrition and food security, accepted the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences on Sunday as part of the Academy’s 154th Annual Meeting in Washington.

The annual $100,000 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences was established in 2016 through support from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to recognize research by a mid-career scientist at a U.S. institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to agriculture.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research honored Buckler at a reception hosted with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on April 27.

The following reception speakers congratulated Dr. Buckler:

  • Dan Glickman, outgoing FFAR board chair and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
  • Sally Rockey, Ph.D., FFAR executive director
  • Marcia McNutt, Ph.D., NAS president
  • Pam Johnson, past president of the National Corn Growers Association and vice chair of the FFAR Board
  • Rob Horsch, Ph.D., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation deputy director of agricultural research and development

The speaking program closed with a presentation by Buckler on his research to date and outlook for the future of his field. The presentation will be available on the FFAR website later this month.

“This award reflects how great teams of scientists have been able to tap natural diversity with powerful new tools to address the challenges facing society, agriculture, and the environment today,” said Buckler.

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.

“It is an honor to see Dr. Buckler officially receive the first-ever NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences,” said Sally Rockey, executive director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. “On behalf of the Foundation, we congratulate Dr. Buckler and look forward to his future contributions to food and agriculture.”

Learn More: https://foundationfar.org/nas-prize/.

Overcoming Water Scarcity

Overcoming Water Scarcity

Continue

Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Overcoming Water Scarcity Challenge Area addressed water use efficiency in agriculture by developing water conservation and reuse technologies, improving crop and livestock breeds, creating improved agronomic practices, increasing the social and economic tractability of conservation practices and enhancing the efficacy of Extension services.

FFAR’s Sustainable Water Management Challenge Area builds on earlier work to increase water availability and water efficiency for agricultural use, reduces agricultural water pollution and develops water reuse technologies.

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

Continue

FFAR’s 2016-2018 Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area increased soil health by building knowledge, fueling innovation, and enabling adoption of existing or new innovative practices that improve soil health.

The Soil Health Challenge Area advances existing research and identifies linkages between farm productivity and soil health, while also addressing barriers to the adoption of soil health practices.

Protein Challenge

Protein Challenge

Continue

FFAR’s 2016-2018 Protein Challenge Area sought to improve the environmental, economic and social sustainability of diverse proteins.

The Advance Animal Systems challenge area supports sustainable animal production through environmentally sound productions practices and advancement in animal health and welfare. Additionally, the Next Generation Crops Challenge Area develops non-traditional crops, including plant-based proteins, and creates new economic opportunities for conventional crops to increase future crop diversity and farm profitability.

Food Waste and Loss

Food Waste and Loss

Continue

About 40 percent of food in the US, or $161 billion each year, is lost or wasted. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Food and Waste Loss Challenge Area addressed the social, economic and environmental impacts from food waste and loss through research that developed of novel uses for agricultural waste, improved storage and distribution, supported tracking and monitoring, minimized spoilage through pre- and post-harvest innovations and changed behaviors to reduce food waste

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area addresses food waste and loss and supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.

Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability

Continue

Supporting innovation is necessary for sustainable results. Over the last 50 years, farmers have tripled global food production thanks to agricultural innovations. Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability was a 2016-2018 Challenge Area that focused on understanding the barriers and processes that prevented the adoption of technology and research results into sustainable practices.

Urban Food Systems

Urban Food Systems

Continue

The 2016-2018 Urban Food Systems Challenge Area addressed feeding urban populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture and augmenting the capabilities of our current food system.

The Urban Food Systems Challenge Area continues this work and enhances our ability to feed urban populations.

Making My Plate Your Plate

Continue

FFAR’s 2016-2018 Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area focused on helping Americans meet the USDA 2015 Dietary Guideline recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, including research to both produce and provide access to nutritious fruits and vegetables.

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.