A Podcast Interview with Biologist Lee DeHaan and Rancher Pete Ferrell
In the third Roots Talk! podcast, audio producer Noah Herbin interviews biologist Lee DeHaan and Kansas rancher Pete Ferrell. Ferrell, a Grinnell College alum of ‘74, runs a family cattle ranch, works as a project development consultant for Energy for Generations, LLC, (a wind power development company) and serves as chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Land Institute. In this last capacity, he has worked with Lee DeHaan to develop intermediate wheatgrass into a perennial grain crop with an established root system—a hybrid marketed as Kernza. DeHaan, who is the Lead Scientist for the Land Institute’s Kernza Domestication Program, gave a talk at Grinnell College last September titled “Kernza Perennial Grain: Sustainable by Design,” in which he discussed the ecologically friendly possibilities that the development and growth of Kernza offered. In this short interview, DeHaan describes that the environment in the Midwest needs our urgent care in order to survive into the future. He says the development of perennial grains such as Kernza may help alleviate the Midwest’s environmental problems.