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Land Institute president to speak on the future of food

March 8th, 2023

Rachel Stroer

Bethel in inviting the public to spend a day thinking about the future of food with Rachel Stroer, the president of The Land Institute in Salina, who will be on campus April 17.

Stroer will speak in convocation, meet with a biology class and deliver an evening lecture.

The event is supported by the Carolyn Schultz Endowed Lectureship, administered by the Bethel College Women’s Association.

April 17 at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center, Stroer’s topic is “New Roots: Agriculture for a Livable Future.”

Stroer will discuss how the path of agriculture has led humanity into its current ecological predicament, and how humans can evolve toward a future lived within the limits of the planet’s life-supporting ecosystems.

In the afternoon, Stroer will meet with the Conservation Biology class to talk about the role of nonprofits in transitioning the world toward an ecologically sound future.

At 7 p.m., again in Krehbiel Auditorium, Stroer’s lecture topic is “Leading a Global Movement for Diverse Perennial Grain Futures.”

This presentation will outline how The Land Institute is working with partners around the world to create an agriculture that mimics natural systems, to produce ample food for people while reducing or eliminating the negative impacts of current practices on humans and the planet.

A team of plant breeders, ecologists and social scientists leads this global partnership, which focuses on developing perennial grains – including cereals, pulses and oilseed-bearing plants – and the cultural evolution needed to sustain them.

“Bethel and The Land Institute have comparable missions,” said Robert Milliman, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs. “Bethel College graduates students who increase human flourishing, or shalom, in society. The Land Institute works for a future where humans flourish as members.” 

The Land Institute, founded in 1976 near Salina, Kan., is an independent, nonprofit, agricultural research organization, co-leading the global movement for perennial, diverse, truly regenerative agriculture at a scale.

Stroer is the first woman president in the 45-year history of The Land Institute. She held various roles since joining the organization in 2015, including chief operating officer and chief strategy officer.

With a community of scientists and researchers, Stroer is now leading the adoption of a bold new strategic vision to reconcile the human economy with Nature’s economy, starting with food.

Under her stewardship, The Land Institute is catalyzing an international network of collaborators and advocates – connected across space and deeply rooted in place – working to develop a diverse, perennial grain agriculture and ecological future for all.  

All three of Stroer’s presentations on April 17 are open to the public, although students will be given priority for seating and in the Q&A for the 11 a.m. convocation and the Conservation Biology class.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges,” and #24 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest,” both for 2022-23. Bethel is the only Kansas college or university to be named a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center. For more information, see

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.