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Prairie Festival speaker presentations, webinars, civic science, and more videos can be found on this page.

 

 

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Kernza® Perennial Grain Meeting 2022 in Salina, Kansas. An international group of presenters included Tessa Peters, Lee DeHaan, Aubrey Streit-Krug, Sophia Skelly, Amy Teller, Jake Jungers, Tara Ritter, Hanne Thomsen, Guangbin Luo, Javad Najafi, Pedro Correia, Prabin Bajgain, Jared Crain, Steve Larson, Valentin Picasso, Thomas McKenna, Olivier Duchene, Hannah Stoll, Connie Carlson, Tim Crews, Jess Gutknecht, Colin Cureton, George Annor, Christopher Abbott, Douglas Michael, Alexandra Diemer, Peter Miller, and Tammy Kimbler.

George Monbiot discussed his new book, Regenesis with journalist and broadcaster Lucy Siegle live from London. A team from The Land Institute was present in the live audience. Kernza® perennial grain was featured in the talk.

Monbiot opens Regenesis with a chapter on the fundamentals of soil science and covers the use of perennial rather than annual crops, i.e. crops that can be harvested multiple years in a row.

“Large areas dominated by annual plants are rare in nature. They tend to colonize ground in the wake of catastrophe […] in cultivating annuals, we must keep the land in the catastrophic state they prefer.

 

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Video recording of Professor Aviva Chomsky, author of Is Science Enough: Forty Critical Questions About Climate Justice, and author Stan Cox speak virtually at the Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center. This book examines why social, racial, and economic justice are as crucial as science in determining how we can reverse climate catastrophe.

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Thank you from all of us at The Land Institute.

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Watch video of Dr. Ebony Murrell from The Land Institute and Jessica Butters from Kansas State University hosting a virtual webinar to discuss data collected during a 3-year research study on utilizing perennial grain species as border crops, and the services they provide in pollinator habitat, weed suppression, and forage potential. They also gave a brief virtual tour of the research plots and answered questions regarding perennial border crops and the services they provide.

Border crops have the potential to deliver agronomically important ecosystem services to crop fields. Perennial plantings could be advantageous in providing low-maintenance ground cover for field borders, flowers for pollinators, and even forage for livestock. In this webinar, we will discuss the border crop potential of four perennial species at The Land Institute being domesticated as perennial grain cropssainfoin, silflower, cup plant, and Kernza® – compared to two known border and forage crops, alfalfa and a 9-species prairie mixture.

About 87% of the world’s harvested area is cultivated with annual crops, mainly grains, that must be resown every year/season. As continued climate change is rendering our existing cultivars increasingly vulnerable to stress, a shift to perennial grain crops would turn cropping into a carbon sink for decades, would likely reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as nitrous oxide, and would significantly reduce erosion and nutrient leakage. Perennial crops also have the potential to drastically reduce the costs of farming by cutting the need for external inputs (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, machinery, energy, and labor) and hence generate social and economic advantages particularly to farmers and rural societies.

As part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the UN is convening a Food Systems Summit to highlight how organizations are harnessing science, technology, and innovation to work towards the aspiration of efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable food systems. As a side event associated with the Science Days for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, The Land Institute (USA) in collaboration with Birzeit University (Palestine), Lund University (Sweden), Yunnan University (China), and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden), hosted a conversation about the potential of perennial agriculture.

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Oct. 1, 2020–For the next installment in the Center for the Study of the American West’s (CSAW) research talk series, Aubrey Streit Krug, Director of Ecosphere Studies at The Land Institute, presented “An Integrative Story: Civic Science Communities for Perennial Crops and People.” Aubrey Streit Krug is a writer, teacher, and researcher who studies stories of relationships between humans and plants.

At The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, Aubrey leads transdisciplinary civic science communities that bring together researchers and a range of people around the US to grow and observe new perennial grain crops. These civic science projects involve collecting agroecological data and learning through people’s stories, images, and experiences. Streit Krug grew up in a small town in Kansas, where her parents farm wheat and raise cattle, and she loves limestone soils and rocky prairie hillsides. She holds a PhD in English and Great Plains Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is a co-author of the collaborative textbook The Omaha Language and the Omaha Way.

 

CSAW research talks are a chance for academics to share in-progress work related to the American West.

Join a virtual tour through the 206-acres of The Land Institute’s Marty Bender Nature Area, where we welcome visitors and invite local community members to explore a nearly three mile trail system through prairie and woods along the Smoky Hill River in traditional Kaw Nation homelands. Several scientific research plots are located on site. Additional features include art installations, plant and wildlife viewing, a tree swing and picnic area, scenic overlooks of the river and Salina region, and a community book share box.

Summer and harvest season are a beautiful time of the year in Kansas. Abbi Han, a research resident in our Perennial Legumes program, takes us on a mini tour of The Land Institute’s vernalization chamber. This chamber allows our researchers to create an artificial winter in order to accelerate and induce the flowering of plants in our breeding programs. Right now, it is home to several hundred Kernza® and Kura clover plants.

This tour at The Land Institute takes us through the Wauhob Prairie and down to our East Bank research plots. The Wauhob is a prairie remnant perched atop the center of The Land Institute’s campus. The hilltop also serves as an overlook down to a large cluster of research plots where our perennial grain breeding and ecology programs have a number of ongoing research experiments situated along the banks of the Smoky Hill River. The natural beauty and wide open skies of central Kansas are on full display!

Research Resident Alex Griffin at The Land Institute works with our perennial oilseeds and crop protection ecology research programs, and here she takes us through a full day of work ranging from gathering data on select silphium populations in our greenhouses to tending to the Four Sisters plot in our community garden.

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