Food Ag Prize

Food Ag Prize

About the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

The NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences recognizes research by a mid-career scientist (defined as up to 20 years since completion of PhD) at a U.S. institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. For the purpose of the prize, areas of science with applications to agriculture include plant and animal sciences, microbiology, nutrition and food science, soil science, entomology, veterinary medicine, and agricultural economics. The recipient will be awarded a medal and a $100,000 prize. The prize is endowed through generous gifts from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Press Release Announcing Prize Creation»

Most Recent Recipient

Elizabeth Ainsworth, USDA Agricultural Research Service, received the 2019 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences.

How will the world eat in the face of climate change and other threats? That question dominates Ainsworth’s pioneering research, which has helped to reveal how man-made atmospheric changes will affect the physiology and growth of crops around the world.
Read more about her work»
Watch her acceptance speech»


Elizabeth Ainsworth (2019)
For pioneering research unraveling how anthropogenic atmospheric changes affect the physiology and growth of crops and for being a science ambassador and role model for the next generation of scientists.
Read more about Ainsworth's work» 
Watch Ainsworth's acceptance speech»

Rodolphe Barrangou (2018)
For his discovery of the genetic mechanisms and proteins driving CRISPR systems and their applications in food and agriculture, including virus resistance in the yogurt starter culture Streptococcus thermophilus and with the potential for translational genome editing in other microbes, crop plants and livestock.
Read more about Barrangou's work»
Watch Barrangou's acceptance speech»

Edward S. Buckler (2017)
For insights and discoveries that changed our understanding of quantitative genetics, for facilitating genetic characterization of genes underlying critical traits and their deployment for breeding programs in a myriad of species, and for exemplary collegiality in sharing resources for the betterment of crops and the human condition.
Read more about Buckler's work»

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