Fred Iutzi will present the program, “Nature as measure: The work of the Land Institute” on Nov. 16 at the monthly meeting of the Smoky Hills Audubon Society.

Fred Iutzi has been president of the Land Institute since October of 2016. His ties to The Land Institute are deep. Fred joined the institute’s Graduate Fellows Program in 2002, where he studied the possibility of growing small grains in mixtures with forage legumes. He subsequently attended seven Fellows workshops. Iutzi earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri – Columbia, and a Master’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Agronomy at Iowa State University.

The Land Institute is a science-based research organization working to develop an alternative to current destructive agricultural practices. Founded as a nonprofit organization the same year the Smoky Hills Audubon Society was founded, in 1976. The Land Institute is committed to researching and developing food production methods that sustain the land and soil, a precious resource in an increasingly precarious state around the globe.

He grew up on an Illinois farm, and describes the fighting of soil erosion as a deep-rooted moral value instilled by his parents and grandparents. Since then, Fred has focused his career on the sustainability of agriculture and rural communities. Prior to his move to Kansas, he managed agriculture, energy and cooperative development programs for the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.

He has served in leadership roles in numerous environmental and agriculture organizations, including vice chair of the board of the Agricultural Watershed Institute and founding chair of the Illinois Biomass Working Group. He is married to Melissa Calvillo, who has joined the teaching staff at Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina.

The Nov. 16 monthly meeting of the Smoky Hill Audubon Society will be held at Kansas Wesleyan in room 229 of the Peters Science Building at 7 p.m.

Programs are free and open to the public.