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Graduate student awarded sustainable agriculture scholarship

Kenneth “Paul” Beamer, a graduate student in plant sciences from Earlham, Iowa, was awarded a scholarship by the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society at its winter conference Jan. 26-28 in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

The scholarship program supports the training of the next generation of sustainable food systems workers. Candidates for the scholarship must be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited post-secondary education program in a curriculum related to sustainable agriculture or an approved mentorship program.

Beamer’s graduate thesis title is “Weed Management Strategies Improve Soil Quality in Small Scale Organic Vegetable Production Systems.” His graduate program adviser is Greta Gramig, associate professor of plant sciences and weed biology and ecology project leader.

“I became interested in sustainable agriculture through learning about soil erosion and soil ecology,” said Beamer. “It is all about the soil.”

Beamer’s career goals include “working with communities and legislators to reserve development for community gardens, as well as working with growers to promote crop diversity in order to better ensure food sovereignty.” He also is considering pursuing higher education and research.

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