Professor Mitch Tuinstra is the Wickersham Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Research and Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University. Mitch has demonstrated excellence in international research and collaboration through his work studying how crop plants grow in stressful environments. Although farmers have faced the challenges of droughts and heat waves for thousands of years, there is mounting concern that changes in our climate may hamper agricultural productivity in the United States and around the world. Professor Tuinstra and his collaborators are responding to these concerns with efforts to develop “climate resilient” cultivars of maize and sorghum that will contribute to the adaptation of agriculture to warmer and drier environments. His research focuses on identifying genes and genetic resources that contribute to improved crop performance in stressful environments. He has been highly successful in initiating international collaborations with scientists and breeders to improve crop performance in numerous locations throughout North America, Africa and Asia. Through these projects, Mitch has demonstrated a commitment to global agriculture and food systems, delivering high impact and capacity building with food producers and processors as well as government officials and consumers. He has also mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students, launching them onto impactful international career paths of their own.
Please join me in celebrating this remarkable record of accomplishment and impact by awarding the 2023 Lowell S. Hardin Award for International Activities to Dr. Mitch Tuinstra.