39 North Innovation District Plan Unveiled
The Science in Our Food
Back to Results
Last month, more than 300 guests gathered at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center for the Center’s Conversations program. The quarterly series organized by members of the Friends Committee, featured panelists Elizabeth (Toby) Kellogg, Ph.D., Member, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Scott Woodbury, Curator, Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve.
Before the discussion began, Dr. William H. Danforth, founding chairman of the Board of the Danforth Center, took a moment to recognize and thank Dr. Jim Davis for his support and for serving as moderator of Conversations program for many years. Below is an excerpt of Dr. Danforth’s remarks.
After Dr. Danforth and Dr. Davis’ remarks, Kellogg and Woodbury began their discussion on the important role that prairie grasses and cereal crops play in agriculture along with the contributions of cutting-edge science and technology.
St. Louis was once the home of tall grass prairies, stands of grasses that often grew taller than grown men. The grasses – especially big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass and switchgrass - are still common today. Tall grass prairies are a unique and complex ecosystem that protects the environment by providing rich soil, assisting healthy crops to thrive and providing thousands of products to our communities.
Prairie grasses are hardy plants that tolerate drought and heat. They also have deep roots that store carbon and copious leaves that can be used for biofuels. The prairie grasses are close relatives of the crops corn and sorghum; what we learn about one will ultimately apply to the others. Restoring prairies is a high priority at the Shaw Nature Reserve and on the new site at the Danforth Center.
To view previous Conversations programs visit HEC-TV.org.
Follow the Danforth Center on Twitter @DanforthCenter and LIKE us on Facebook to stay up to date with science, research and recent news.
| Toby KelloggScott WoodburyimpactgrasseseventsDr. Jim DavisDiscoveryConversationscommunity