$10,000 winner

School: University of California, Davis

PhD candidate in International Agriculture Development

“My commitment to sustainable agriculture is due the connection that I see between the basic human right to food and the basic human responsibility ot live in right relation to the land. These two concepts need to be better brought together in the field of international agriculture development in order to improve project sustainability on both social and environmental levels. From my perspective, poverty and hunger cannot be truly alleviated by ecologically unsustainable means. International development initiatives need to have long-term vision regarding the techniques that they are promoting for agricultural development not just to meet food security needs for today but also for future generations.

…We need to be aware of ethical issues in working within other cultures and avoid the paternalistic mistakes of the past. To that effect, I am learning more about community-driven and participatory development methods that put the farmer first and involve small-scale farmers in research and education on creative and ecologically sustainable ideas for meeting food security.”