Food Ag Prize

Food Ag Prize

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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

Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra, University of California, Davis, will receive the 2024 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences.

Ross-Ibarra’s pioneering studies on the evolutionary genetics of maize, a key crop species for global food production, advance our understanding of the evolution of all crops

Read more about Ross-Ibarra's work»


Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra (2024)
For his use of population and quantitative genetics to study domestication of maize, for revealing the extensive impact of history on genomic diversity in maize and for demonstrating the utility of genomic approaches to predict crop performance in light of domestic inbreeding.
Read more about Ross-Ibarra's work»

Huaijun Zhou (2023)
For his innovative, multidisciplinary approach to animal and poultry genome research, leading to improved global food security through genetic enhancement of poultry health and production efficiencies.
Read more about Zhou's work»
Watch Zhou's acceptance speech»

David Lobell (2022)
For his pioneering research, and innovative use of remote sensing and modeling, to address challenges at the agriculture-environment interface that has revealed crop responses to global climate change, informed strategies to minimize the environmental impact of agriculture, and identified novel adaptations and investments for improving world food-security.
Read more about Lobell's work»
Watch Lobell's acceptance speech»

Christina M. Grozinger (2021)
For her innovative and integrative studies of the molecular, physiological, and ecological determinants of the health of managed and wild bees, leveraging this information to develop accessible decision support tools for farmers and conservationists, and passionate advocacy and public engagement for pollination.
Read more about Grozinger's work»
Watch Grozinger's acceptance speech»

Zachary B. Lippman (2020)
For his outstanding studies of mechanisms controlling plant stem cell maturation, for providing a means of circumventing negative epistasis arising when combining desirable agricultural traits, and for developing a CRISPR/Cas9 strategy for engineering quantitative trait variation for increased yield – a technique that will find widespread application.
Read more about Lippman's work»
Watch Lippman's 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.
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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» 
Watch Buckler's acceptance speech»

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