Valentin Picasso, an assistant professor of agronomy, has been selected to receive an Alfred Toepfer Faculty Fellow Award. The one-year award is bestowed on pre-tenure faculty whose research benefits agricultural activities within the United States and whose areas of interest lie in the scientific fields of crop research, improvements in crop yield and quality, or animal sciences.
Picasso’s research focuses on developing sustainable forage and grazing systems that build resilience to climate change. He applies the science of agroecology to evaluate and design sustainable cropping systems that are productive, minimize environmental impacts and are stable over time. Current research involves assessing the management of perennial dual-purpose crops for forage and grain, including intermediate wheatgrass (Kernza).
The Alfred Toepfer Faculty Fellow Award was established by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to honor the ideals and work of Alfred Toepfer, who created the foundation. Toepfer (1894-1993) was an international grain merchant and philanthropist from Hamburg, Germany. He started a small trading business in 1920 and in less than 20 years developed his firm into one of the leading European commercial grain companies. Throughout his life, he practiced his conviction that success in business should be shared with the community and the country for the common good and for the advancement of science, culture and human understanding.