A Fulbright Scholar who is helping other nations implement organic farming systems will present a seminar at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in 2001 Agricultural Sciences Building on West Virginia Universitys Evansdale Campus.
Paul R. Hepperlys talk will look atThe Rodale Farming Systems Trial and Rates of Carbon Sequestration under Long-Term Farming Practices.
Hepperly is research director of the Rodale Institute, a sustainable farming initiative near Kutztown, Pa., that explores organic production, nutrition, food quality, climate change and famine prevention.
The Institutes research shows that organic practicessometimes referred to as regenerative farmingcan remove about 7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year and sequester it in an acre of farmland. Put another way, if all 434 million acres of American cropland were converted to organic practices, it would be the equivalent of taking 217 million cars off the roadnearly 88 percent of all cars in the country today and more than a third of all the automobiles in the world.
Weve shown that organic practices can do better than anyone thought at sequestering carbon and could counteract up to 40 percent of global greenhouse gas output,Hepperly said.
Using soil-building crops and compost to support cash crops helps to build soil carbon levels while keeping productivity in line with conventional systems, he explained.
Hepperly has a doctorate in plant pathology, a masters degree in agronomy and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. He has worked with farmers from regions around the world, including Central and South America, the Caribbean, India and Africa.
Hepperly has extensive expertise in organic and conventional agriculture. He has contributed to more than 150 publications on topics such as plant pathology, fungal diseases, plant disease resistance, disease management, epidemiology, diagnosis, fungal ecology, seed pathology, agronomy, horticulture, weed management, carbon sequestration and research program management.
He has received numerous honors, including the Princeton Premium Achievement award for Business Leadership in 2008 and a Fulbright Scholar Award in 2007. He also received the Humanitarian Award by OIC International in 2006 for his work on compost and organic farming for West Africa, the Rachel Carson Councils Sense of Science award (Silver Springs, Md.) in 2005 and the Da Vinci in the Community award from the Da Vinci Discovery Center of Science and Technology (Allentown, Pa.) in 2004.
Hepperlys seminar is sponsored by the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences in WVU s Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences. The Davis College is home to an innovative, nationally recognized organic farming research project.
More on the Net: www.caf.wvu.edu/plsc/organic/