611 Siegfriedale Rd., Kutztown, PA 19530
Tel: (610) 683-1400 Fax: (610) 683-8548
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Scott Overholt
August 8, 1995
Rodale Institute announced today the formation of its Global Programs and
Global Communications structure. "Our mission is to work with people
worldwide to achieve a regenerative food system that enhances environmental
and human health," says Anthony Rodale, Vice Chair of the Institute. "Our
research has proven it can be done. We know people want it. Our next
challenge is to make the successful ideas available and useful to
Global Programs, headed by Jonathon Landeck, will operate Regenerative
Agriculture Resource Centers (RARCs) in Senegal, Guatemela, Russia and the
United States. The U.S. RARC will be directed by Laurie Drinkwater.
"The RARCs work with farmers on their own land" notes Landeck. "It's how
ideas and research are put to work to benefit people. Our success in
Senegal and Guatemela showed that this approach works best. The
communications program will spread the successes of the RARCs even
The RARC model emphasizes on-farm applied research, demonstration and
communication. It uses the land of the participating farmers themselves to
develop and extend regenerative farming practices using local resources.
Jonathon Landeck earned his doctorate in Agricultural Extension Education
from Michigan State University, and an M.S. in soil science from Texas A&M.
He is fluent in French, and conversational in Spanish. Landeck's career
includes diversified assignments in the U.S. and Africa.
Laurie Drinkwater earned a PhD in Zoology At the University of California,
Davis, where she applied her emphasis in ecology and invertebrate biology
to the study of soil life in the Deparment of Vegetable Crops. Drinkwater
joined Rodale Institute in 1993.
The Rodale Institute Research Center, in Kutztown, PA, has been renamed the
Rodale Institute Experimental Farm. "The new name reflects our ongoing
committment to innovative experimentation, as well as our desire to make
it a more integrated, organic farm," explains Rodale. "We develop and
demonstrate successful organic methods for growing healthy food for
people, using compost as the main soil regeneration technology."
The farm will be a complete center for research, education and
communication. Currently, a two-acre site is being prepared for Rodale's
new School of Practical Composting. The School is a five-day, intensive
course on commercial scale composting, based on what Rodale researchers are
learning from their three-year-old Compost Utilization Trial.
The new structure significantly enhances the staff at Rodale Institute.
Dr. Amadou Diop, the current Senegal RARC director and recipient of the
1995 Award for Excellence in Development from the Center for the African
Cause, has been named Technical Director of Global Programs. Diop earned a
doctorate in agronomy from Oregon State University. He is fluent in
Russian, French, English, and Spanish.
In addition, a Socio-economic Director will be hired to give Rodale
Institute greater capability in gender-related programming (to increase
women's participation), community development, and monitoring and
"Agricultural research should have as its ultimate goal the health of
people, environment, and communities," declares John Haberern, President of
Rodale Institute. The soil provides us with life. The quality of that
life depends on the quality of the soil itself. We believe farmers and
farming practices can contribute a lot to the health of people worldwide."
To begin to reconnect soil, food and human health in the minds of the
leading scientists in each field, and to connect the scientists and the
fields themselves, Rodale Institute is working with Tufts University to
plan the first International Conference on the Effects of Farming Practices
on Food Quality. The conference is expected to be held in late summer,
1997, co-sponsored by Tuft's Center for Agriculture, Food and the
"Can you imagine what will happen when a farmer, a nutritionist and a
doctor get face to face and realize they are connected to each other in the
chain of health, and that what each does affects us all? We're attempting
to break down the barriers of specialization and get back to the whole
Rodale Institute is also collaborating with the World Bank, in an affort to
ensure that future agricultural projects funded by the bank are designed to
regenerate, not deplete, local soil and other resources. A workshop to
develop project assessment criteria is being held at the Rodale Institute
Experimental Farm August 14 - 15. Paul O'Connell, the first Director of
the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Alternative Agriculture
Research and Commercialization (AARC) is representing Rodale Institute in
the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of the World Bank.
The Institute's plans for 1996 include adding new education and electronic
communication activities. "Our research has given us all the confidence to
move forward and talk with consumers, policymakers, food industry leaders
and youth about the idea that what they eat and how it's grown has a lot to
do with how long they live, how good they feel, and how secure they are.
We'll be spreading our resources more evenly between research and
commmunication," Haberern explains.
Global Communications, directed by Scott Overholt, will operate the Rodale
Institute Experimental Farm as an education center, and develop the
Institute's publishing capacity, with an emphasis on electronic
The Global Communications group will be charged with setting up a global
communications hub, where information on regenerative and organic
agriculture, and their relation to environmental and human health, will be
gathered, organized and disseminated. Electronic communications will be
added to Rodale Institute's traditional strength in print publishing and
database management. Rodale Institute's Russia RARC has already applied a
successful communications model in that country which will be adapted to
Rodale Institute's U.S. headquarters in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
All of Rodale Institute's people and programs will continue to focus on
growing organic foods using regenerative principles.
"We have been working to show the vital link between healthy soil, healthy
food and healthy people since my grandfather first said it in 1947, says
Anthony Rodale. "Our organization started small and humbly with thirty
acres and an idea. Because of the support we've received from around the
world, Rodale Institute is prepared to lead the way into a future where
what's good for people and what's good for the earth are seen as the same -
where there needn't be any tradeoffs, one for the other. If we feed the
soil, the soil will feed us. It's nature's way."
"It's amazing how many people feel that way now, how many allies we have,
how many successes there are. Our goal at Rodale Institute is to bring it
all together, and make the tools for success available to everyone,
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Rodale Institute is an independent, non-profit organization under section
501(c)(3) of the IRS code. It is a publicly-supported charity and is not
affiliated with Rodale Press or any other for-profit corporation.