The director of the Integrated Development program and Representative for the Americas at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Bram Govaerts, has been elected as Fellow by the leading professional organization of agronomists in the United States.
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) presented this award to Govaerts for his outstanding contributions to the field of agronomy.
“His initiatives, excellence in science for impact and the partnerships he inspired have resulted in improved nutrition, nature conservation, and national and international resilience and food security”, announced the ASA in a news release.
Being an ASA Fellow is the highest honor offered by the organization, with only 0.3% of active and emeritus members holding this distinction.
The awarding body recognized Govaerts as an international authority in maize and wheat cropping systems who works for a successful transition to sustainable intensification of small-scale farming in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“Bram engages from the field in a remote village all the way up to the office of the president, and from livelihoods and social inclusion to science and business development, in a tireless effort to generate systems change creating sustainable agri-food systems for nutrition, nature conservation and peace,” said Sanjay Rajaram, ASA Fellow, 2014 World Food Prize Laureate, distinguished scientist and retired CIMMYT Wheat Program director, who nominated Govaerts to the ASA’s Fellows Committee.
“I am honored and grateful for receiving this award which shows, above all, that CIMMYT stands for impact and sound science that saves millions of lives, a duty to humanity that we must never compromise,” Govaerts said.
Born in Belgium, Govaerts studied Bioscience Engineering at K.U. Leuven, where he earned a master’s degree in the same subject with specialization in Soil Conservation and Tropical Agriculture. Research stays in Ethiopia and Mexico sparked his interest in sustainable intensification of small-scale farming systems. He achieved a doctoral degree in Bioscience Engineering – Soil Science, also from K.U. Leuven.
Govaerts cut his teeth as cropping systems expert at CIMMYT, where he progressed from post-doctoral fellow to his current position. He received the Norman Borlaug Field Award in 2014 from the World Food Prize Foundation. Govaerts has co-authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications. He is a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) for the Sustainable Development Goals and A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University.