SfL Board expands, elects new officers

September 8, 2022

The Solutions from the Land Board has elected two new officers and is seeking four additional members after increasing the size of the Board to 15 members. The changes come after the death on Christmas Day of longtime Board co-chair Tom Lovejoy, known globally as the “godfather of biodiversity.”

“It is not easy to fill the shoes of Dr. Lovejoy” said SfL President Ernie Shea, “but Howard-Yana Shapiro is one of the few who are up to the task”. Dr. Shapiro has worked with Lovejoy at SfL and has crossed paths with him through their long careers. Among other things, Shapiro is principal at Double Helix Consulting; a senior fellow at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis; a distinguished fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya; and an advisor and fellow with MARS, Inc. He has worked globally on resilient agricultural systems, plant breeding, molecular biology and genetics for half a century with indigenous groups, NGOs, and the public and private sectors.

“In this time of uncertainty, it is essential that we build uncommon collaborations to solve the myriad of problems we face” said Dr. Shapiro.  “Working on the 21st Century Agriculture Renaissance:  Solutions from the Land white paper, exposed me to the incredible diversity of perspectives, experiences, innovations farmers, ranchers, foresters, were facing and how they persevered and overcame obstacles by understanding deeply the patterns and systems of production, allowing the world to feed itself and protect the fragile environment that we inhabit.  SfL understands those issues and provides an unbiased space to deliberate and solve those problems for the betterment of mankind.”

Lois Wright Morton was elected to the newly formed Executive Committee of SfL. Dr. Morton is a 7th-generation farmer in Ohio and Professor Emeritus of Rural Sociology at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Her academic career included research on how farmers make decisions, agriculture and climate change, soil and water management, and rural livelihoods. Morton owns and manages a diversified farm of blueberries, raspberries and other specialty crops; commodity crops corn-bean and hardwood forest.

“The heart and soul of SfL are the innovative farmers, ranchers, fishers and foresters who are embracing change and the challenges of 21st Century agriculture and melding science, their own personal knowledge, experiences and skills and sorting through the proliferation of useful technologies to find solutions under uncertainty and risks” said Dr. Morton. “Being part of the SfL team has given me, as a famer and sociologist, wonderful opportunities to learn how others farmers are innovating and managing as the world changes around us.” Lois co-farms with her brother Alan who raises cattle, corn and soy nearby. This partnership enables her to retain on-farm value of manure and straw by-products; share equipment, labor, and management skills; and “try on and evaluate” innovative ideas.

Shapiro and Morton, along with their Board colleagues will work globally, nationally, and at the state level to advance our farmer-centric 21st Century Agricultural Renaissance vision.

“SfL’s increased Board size allows for a broader representation of agricultural interests and expertise” said Shea. “In particular, we are seeking a producer of nutrient-dense food, a dairy farmer, and candidates with forest management experience to join our Board”.

For additional information, or to nominate someone for a seat, please contact SfL President Ernie Shea at 410-952-0123 or eshea@solutionsfromtheland.org.

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Our Vision

An Agricultural Renaissance, led by innovative and entrepreneurial farmers, ranchers and foresters constructing sustainable, profitable and resilient systems that lay the foundation for a world of abundance on many scales capable of producing nutritious food, feed, fiber, clean energy, healthy ecosystems, quality livelihoods, and strong rural economies.