ACU's mission is "change the world". For us in A&E, that means not only protecting the environment but helping the hungry and disenfranchised. Research conducted this summer by Dr. Kent Gallaher and Dylan Wann, environmental science major form Torrington WY, was aimed at helping the poorest of the poor by improving food quantity and quality for subsistence farmers in the mountains of Southern Honduras. For three years now A&E has partnered with Jarrod Brown and Mission Lazarus as it expanded its agricultural outreach programs. The mission provides medical care, early childhood development/education and agricultural assistance to the poor and marginalized people of Southern Honduras, many of whom live on less than $600 USD per year.
This current research was focused on identifying a high yielding variety of open pollinated field corn that can boost food production and income for poverty stricken families in the mountains that surround Choluteca Honduras. The 32 varieties were planted and tended in the traditional ways used by local farmers and a variety of yield data and food quality data was obtained. "Open Pollinated" was the key to this research effort. Most agricultural research in Latin America caters to the wealthy land owners and is centered on mechanization and expensive hybrid seed varieties than are virtually out of reach for poor subsistence farmers. This research centered on providing the subsistence farmer with improved varieties that are open pollinated, meaning they can save seed back each year for planting the next year, while maintaining food quality and yield potential.
Dr. Gallaher and Dylan plan to present their preliminary findings to the Southern Branch of the American Society of Agronomy at the 105th meeting of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists this winter.
ACU's mission is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.
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