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Kernza® Lead Scientist Receives Inaugural American Food Heroes Award

The Land Institute’s Lead Scientist for Kernza® domestication and intermediate wheatgrass breeding, Lee DeHaan, has been recognized as one of the top ten leaders making food better right now.

The publication EatingWell today released its first annual American Food Heroes awards as part of the September/October issue. The list recognizes the top individuals making an outsized difference in the biggest food, sustainability and nutrition issues of today.

To create the list, EatingWell solicited nominations from food, nutrition and policy experts, journalists, and readers. The ten winners, selected by the EatingWell staff, stood out for their focus, creativity and ongoing contributions to the food system. This year’s heroes are tackling a diverse set of challenges, from cleaning up fast food and making school lunches healthier, to developing an entirely new grain agriculture.

EatingWell’s 2017 American Food Heroes are:

  • José Andrés, Chef and Owner, ThinkFood Group
  • Lee DeHaan, Lead Scientist, Kernza Domestication Program, The Land Institute
  • Tim Joseph, Founding Farmer & CEO, Maple Hill Creamery
  • Bob Moore, Founder, President & CEO, Bob’s Red Mill
  • Denise Morrison, President & CEO, Campbell Soup Company
  • Ron Shaich, CEO, Panera Bread
  • Lindsey Shute, Co-Founder & Executive Director, National Young Farmers Coalition
  • Bren Smith, Executive Director of GreenWave and owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm
  • Betti Wiggins, Office of Nutrition Services, Houston Independent School District
  • Margo Wootan, Director of Nutrition Policy, Center for Science in the Public Interest

The Land Institute is proud to be the home of Lee’s work and the hub of the international partnership to domesticate intermediate wheatgrass, the plant that produces Kernza ® perennial grain.

The work of The Land Institute, including the Kernza® project team of Lee and Marty Christians, and the crop breeders, ecologists, interns and other staff that are their colleagues, is focused on developing perennial grains, pulses and oilseed bearing plants to be grown in ecologically intensified, diverse crop mixtures known as perennial polycultures. The Institute’s goal is to create an agriculture system that mimics natural systems in order to produce ample food and reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of industrial agriculture.

Find out more about The Land Institute’s work to develop Kernza® perennial grain, other perennial crops, and our ecological intensification research.

More information and interviews with the 2017 American Food Heroes can be found in EatingWell’s September/October issue online and on newsstands now.

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