21st Century Agricultural Renaissance: Solutions from the Land
2022 William K. Deal Endowed Leadership Lecture
Ernie Shea, president of Solutions from the Land, a not-for-profit organization based in Lutherville, Maryland, has more than 40 years of experience at the global, national, state and local levels working to improve the ability of agricultural landscapes to sequester carbon, protect water quality, improve public health and ensure a growing and resilient food system.
He has held several leadership positions over the years, including Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Agricultural Development and Resource Conservation in Maryland. Currently, he facilitates the 25x’25 and North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliances, which seek to combat climate change.
Drawing from his life experiences and lessons learned, Shea will share a 21st Century Renaissance vision for agriculture. He’ll describe an environment where producers are valued by society not just for the food, feed, fiber and energy they produce, but for ecosystem services including the water they filter and store, the carbon they sequester in soil, the wildlife and biodiversity they enhance, and more broadly, how they improve livelihoods for themselves, their families, their community, the nation and the planet.
Shea will challenge producers to reimagine their businesses and suggest pathways and tactics to transition from linear food and agricultural systems to sustainable, profitable and resilient circular systems that lay the foundation for a world of abundance on many scales.