Innovation Lab prepares to lead projects on newly donated research farm

Where possible, those who are raising food to help feed the world should leave the land and water better than they found them in order to sustain life in the future. So says Vara Prasad, Kansas State University Distinguished Professor of agronomy.

Prasad, director of the Feed the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab, is gearing up to lead research projects at K-State’s new Harold and Olympia Lonsinger Sustainability Research Farm near Alton, Kansas.

Made possible by Harold Lonsinger’s donation of 2,300 acres of Osborne County farmland to the university’s College of Agriculture in 2017, the farm will be home to studies in crop diversity with a focus on efficiently using the natural resources, and developing crop, soil, nutrient and water management practices that improve the health of the soil and the quality of the water. The research will help improve overall yields from the farm and protect our environment.

Research projects will involve undergraduate and graduate students who one day will be the next generation of scholars and scientists as they learn the principles of sustainability and their importance for the entire food system, from the soil all the way to the consumer, said University Distinguished Professor Gary Pierzynski, who heads K-State’s agronomy department.

K-State Research and Extension will use the work done there as a basis for educational programs for elementary school-aged children all the way to producers in the region.