$2,500 winner

School: University of New Hampshire

PhD candidate in Agroecology, Natural Resources & Ear

While the history of modern agriculture is not yet written, I hope that future analyses will point to a paradigm shift where the focus of agriculture expands to include not just crop yields, but a sustainable, coupled human-agro-ecosystem where food production, quality, and equability are all in the forefront. I see three related challenges facing agriculture today: 1) the emphasis on quantity rather than quality 2) the decoupling of the social and biophysical aspects of the farm (3) the linear framework within which agricultural decisions are often made.
…Adoption of new management practices is often constrained because farmers cannot afford the specialized equipment recommended or they perceive the risk of adoption greater than the reward. I plan to continue working in agricultural systems to reduce these constraints, improve farmer welfare, and advance the sustainability of agriculture.