Donate E-News Signup Contact Site Map Search
Press Releases
  Print This Page

American Farmland Trust Forms Research Advisory Council


Kitty Smith: (202) 378-1209 or ksmith@farmland.org


Washington, D.C., May 18, 2012 —American Farmland Trust has established a Research Advisory Council to help innovate and prioritize research areas for the organization, which is dedicated to preserving farmland, promoting environmentally sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.

Members of the Research Advisory Council will meet quarterly to help define research questions, recommend and engage collaborators on potential research, communicate about work in prioritized areas, and review applicants for endowed fellowships. 

“We are fortunate to have such a distinguished group of experts helping to identify the research needed to solve our nation’s key agricultural and environmental challenges,” said Katherine [Kitty] Smith, American Farmland Trust’s chief economist and vice president for programs. “Members of the committee hail from diverse regions, a range of research disciplines, and bring valuable perspectives that will help drive our research agenda.”  Smith, along with American Farmland Trust Research Director Ann Sorensen will staff the Council for American Farmland Trust. 

The members of the Research Advisory Council include:

  • John Antle, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
  • Varel Baily, Bailey Farms, Inc., Anita, Iowa
  • Otto Doering, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • J. Dixon Esseks, Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Neil Hamilton, Dwight D. Opperman Distinguished Professor, Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Jerry Hatfield, National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa
  • Robert M. Hirsch, Research Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston Virginia
  • Keith Pitts, Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., Davis, California
  • Samina Raja, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
  • Barton Thompson, Professor of Natural Resources Law at Stanford University Law School and Director of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • Margaret Walls, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C.
  • Neal Wilkins, Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas 



American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.

AFT's national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.

American Farmland Trust