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Dr Ken Sayre - 2010 Distinguished scientist awardee

Dr Ken Sayre’s career has been driven by his determina-tion to see science applied for the benefit to the poor and the hungry. This led him to seek his activities in farmers’ fields in developing countries.

"I have worked nearly for 40 years in international agriculture research and development. Receiving this Prize not only honors my efforts to improve agriculture in developing countries but also honors the overall importance of this endeavor to bring equity and improved livelihoods to farmers everywhere"

His most extensive work in agronomy deals with the development and extension of bed-planting technologies for both irrigated and rain-fed crop systems. He first implemented permanent bed-planting methods for wheat in Mexico, and further demonstrated their high efficiency: 20 to 40 % decrease of irrigation water use, 10
% decrease of nitrogen fertilizer use, minimizing erosion and increasing soil fertility.
Ken traveled extensively all over the world to train both farmers and agronomists and help them implement these new technologies. As a result of his tireless efforts,
these methods are now being widely used in many Latin American and Central Asian countries as well as in India and China. He is also deeply involved in conservation agriculture, conducting field expe-riments in Mexico and delivering many international courses.

Born in 1945 in Delta, Colorado (USA), he obtained his PhD in Plant Breeding with minors in Physiology and Pathology at Cornell University in 1971.
He worked for various CGIAR centers and is currently the Regional Agronomist for Asia of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico.