February 23, 2015 Meeting
Lee DeHaan will talk about his work to develop Kernza, a new grain crop, at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. Unlike all widely grown grain crops, Kernza is a perennial, meaning that after a single planting it will live for many years and bear numerous crops without reseeding. Perennials have tremendous potential to enhance sustainability by reducing pesticide and fertilizer contamination from agricultural lands and mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. Dr. DeHaan’s work includes genetic improvement of Kernza through plant breeding and efforts to develop markets for this exciting new grain. Sample foods made from Kernza will be provided.
Lee DeHaan has been a plant breeder at The Land Institute since 2001. Raised on a farm in Minnesota, he has a strong background in the everyday challenges of agriculture. His focus is development of Kernza (wheatgrass) as a perennial grain. Lee earned a B.A. in Plant Science and Biology at Dordt College, and M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Agronomy, specializing in Agro-ecology, at the University of Minnesota.
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