Xavier Speakers to Address Alternative Agriculture

March 22, 2010

Two lectures are scheduled on Sunday, April 11th and Monday April 12th as part of Xavier’s Ethics/Religion and Society Series. Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson and Gene Logsdon will hold “An Informal Conversation” on Sunday, April 11th at 7:00 in the Arena in Xavier’s Cintas Center. Doors open at 6:00 at which time complimentary tickets will be distributed. A second lecture featuring Wes Jackson will be held Monday, April 12th at 1:30 in Kelley Auditorium of Alter Hall on the Xavier campus. Jackson will address “The Necessity and Possibility of an Agriculture Where Nature is the Measure.” Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Wes Jackson, Ph.D, is the President and co-founder of the Land Institute in Salina, KS, a center focusing on agricultural research. Life magazine named him one of the 100 "important Americans of the 20th century” for his work. Wendell Barry, a Kentucky farmer, is a prolific author of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and essays exploring modern agriculture and its consequences. Gene Logsdon farms in northern OH and has written about small farms, organic gardening and other types of alternative agriculture. The three men will discuss the value and importance of sustainable agriculture.

The purpose of the Ethics/Religion and Society program is to encourage ethical and/or religious analysis of socially significant issues. For 2009-2010, the focus is “Food and Agriculture” under the general three-year theme of “Ecology and Sustainability.” Speakers will offer reflections on various issues associated with sustaining human life through food production. The lecture series is only a part of the Ethics/Religion and Society (E/RS) program, whose excellence has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), one of the nation’s most prestigious organizations. The NEH awarded the program a challenge grant of $400,000, requiring the University to raise an additional $1.6 million in order to establish an endowed chair, purchase library and computer resources, support a lecture series and provide continuing education opportunities for faculty.