Ingham to Lead Rodale Institute Research
Soil Food Web Founder Joins Smallwood at Historic Organic Birthplace
The nation’s most important organic farming research is now in the hands of one of its most capable scientists.
The Rodale Institute, the defacto birthplace of the organic movement in the United States, is announcing the appointment of Dr. Elaine Ingham as director of research today. Considered one of the leading experts on soil biology in the world, Ingham is the founder of the Soil Food Web laboratories.
A friend and advisor to the SafeLawns Foundation for many years, she’ll be a tremendous voice for Rodale, which also recently announced the appointment of Mark Smallwood as director.
Here is the official press release:
Kutztown, PA, January 24, 2011—The Rodale Institute, a non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic
farming through research and outreach, today announced the appointment of Dr. Elaine Ingham as
Chief Scientist. Dr. Ingham has lead Soil Foodweb, Inc. as president and director of research since 1996,
helping farmers all over the world to grow more resilient crops by understanding and improving their
soil. She is also an affiliate professor at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa and has served in
academia for two decades.
In her new role as Chief Scientist, Dr. Ingham will take the lead on all Rodale Institute research projects; act as the scientific voice for the Institute as she travels worldwide; and help create a vision for the future of food and farming.
“Dr. Ingham is a true, card-carrying Soil Biologist—a rare entity. As one of the foremost authorities on
practical soil biology management, she is uniquely qualified to pioneer new frontiers of organic research
with the Rodale Institute,” says Executive Director Mark Smallwood. “We are very excited to have her join
Since it’s founding in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, the Rodale Institute has been committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet. The Institute is home to the Farming Systems TrialTM (FST), America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture. Consistent results from the study have shown that organic yields match or surpass those of conventional farming. In years of drought, organic corn yields are about 30% higher.
This year, 2011 marks the 30th year of the trial. New areas of study at the Rodale Institute include rates of carbon sequestration in chemical versus organic plots and new techniques for weed suppression.