CFAES’ Lal wins World Food Prize

The honors keep growing for Rattan Lal. The CFAES Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science—recipient of the Japan Prize last year and the World Agriculture Prize and the Glinka World Soil Prize in 2018—was today awarded the World Food Prize.

The award, its website says, recognizes “the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.”

Gebisa Ejeta, chair of the award’s selection committee and a 2009 recipient of the award, said, “The impact of (Lal’s) research and advocacy on sustainability of agriculture and the environment cannot be overstressed.”

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Peace, stability start in the soil

Republished from the Winter 2019–20 issue of CFAES’ Continuum magazine. Read the issue.

Even in the presence of royalty, the conversation was down to earth. And that was totally appropriate.

In a formal ceremony in April 2019 in Tokyo, CFAES soil scientist Rattan Lal received a 2019 Japan Prize, one of the most prestigious global awards in science and technology.

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Climate solutions? ‘The clock is ticking’

Ohio State’s free public Environmental Film Series continues tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 28, with Ice on Fire, Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2019 documentary sharing firsthand accounts of people at the forefront of the climate crisis—scientists, farmers, innovators, and others.

Find out more. Watch the trailer above.

Be part of ‘A Climate for Change’

Registration is open for the 2020 Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) annual conference set for Feb. 13–15 in Dayton. Its theme is “A Climate for Change.”

“This year’s event features speakers and sessions dedicated to creating a climate to change agriculture,” OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt said. “Cultivating a resilient, just, and sustainable agricultural system can help farmers mitigate their climate risks, and address our global crisis.”

The event’s 72 speakers will include nine from CFAES. Look for details on their talks on this blog in the coming weeks.

Find full details on the conference and a link to register.

A drive to make things better

Dave Benfield, pictured below at the wheel of an all-electric GEM car, retires Dec. 31 as CFAES associate vice president of agricultural administration and director of the college’s Wooster campus. Joe Messenger, assistant to the director of OARDC, based in the Facilities Services unit on the Wooster campus, shared the following.

One of the challenges that Dave Benfield asked me to accomplish was to initiate an electric fleet of vehicles on the Wooster campus. During the past five years, we have purchased five electric GEM cars and one electric GEM truck. During the budget year of FY2021, we are planning to buy one GEM flatbed truck, and that will fulfill the electrical fleet needs for our campus.

Thanks to Dave and his vision for future improvements, we have been able to reduce our carbon footprint on this campus, removing six gasoline-fueled vehicles from our service fleet. On average, our electric vehicles can run a full week on one charge. We will be operating our electric fleet long after Dave has retired. He has left us with a positive motivation for continued improvements on our campus.

Read a Dec. 12 Wooster Daily Record story about Benfield and his career, including helping the campus recover from not one, but two, tornadoes. (Photo: Courtesy of Joe Messenger.)

World Soil Day, world soil expert

Celebrate World Soil Day today, Dec. 5, by reading a recent story about CFAES’ own world soil expert, Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, who received the Glinka World Soil Prize on last year’s World Soil Day and the Japan Prize shortly after that.

“In just a handful of soil,” the Ohio State Alumni Magazine story begins, “Rattan Lal ’68 PhD sees the key to feeding people, to preserving their land for generations, to making Earth a better place for all of us.”

Read the full story, and watch the related video above.

Carbon farming ‘a bridge to the future’?

Bloomberg reports that “Al Gore Is Opening a New Front In the War on Climate Change”—farming practices that sequester carbon dioxide in the soil—and CFAES’ own world expert on the subject, Rattan Lal, visited the former vice president’s farm in Tennessee to look at, walk upon, and talk about the possibilities. Excellent story by Emily Chasan, Bloomberg’s sustainable finance editor.

Lal directs CFAES’ Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. Earlier this year he was awarded the Japan Prize.

Lessons from Bangladesh on climate change

Bangladesh, a country of 165 million in southern Asia, can teach the world a lot about climate change—how everything from climate to food to migration to economics is intertwined. So says CFAES development economist Joyce Chen, featured in our latest CFAES Story.

Rattan Lal quoted in Wall Street Journal

CFAES’ Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and a 2019 winner of the prestigious Japan Prize, was interviewed for a recent story in the Wall Street Journal. In “How to Get Rid of Carbon Emissions: Pay Farmers to Bury Them,” Lal talks about whether paying farmers to sequester carbon to fight the climate crisis is realistic or not, and what some feasible goals could be. The story is here, but you’ll need a subscription to read it.

Lal founded and directs CFAES’ Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. In the video above, he explains the interconnected reasons for storing organic matter (such as carbon) in the soil.