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Ecology Action Receives Scholarship Fund
By Ecology Action Newsletter Staff

Kent Whealy
Kent Whealy

Ceres Trust supports "...movement–oriented organizations; independent scientists; and the preservation and restoration of ecological, Indigenous and farmer knowledge...invests in the organizing, strategy development and resiliency required to spark systemic, equitable and transformative change...[and] emphasizes long–term relationships with grantees." Ceres Trust has generously supported Ecology Action with annual grants since 2009. Recently, they honored Ecology Action's vision and mission by creating The Kent Whealy Scholarship Fund for Ecology Action. This $135,000 grant supports our 2019 Internship and Apprenticeship programs, with the understanding that it honors the legacy of the life and work of Kent Whealy - something that for Ecology Action, is a privilege and an act of love.

Kent was well known for his groundbreaking work in preserving the genetic variability of our food crops; turning curiosity, vision, and hard work into the founding of the celebrated Seed Savers Exchange (SSE). Beloved by gardeners and lauded by scientists, the SSE became the country's largest non-governmental seed bank, growing into a collection of 26,000 varieties of rare vegetables. Besides maintaining the collection on 23 acres of organic gardens at SSE's headquarters Heritage Farm, Kent also made the best of them available to home gardeners again and greatly expanded the trade and interest in open-pollinated seed through his inventories. Because of Kent's work, varieties that had all but disappeared are once again thriving in gardens across the country.

Numerous awards for Kent's genetic preservation efforts include a MacArthur Fellowship (1990), an honorary doctorate from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa (1991), and Russia's prestigious N. I. Vavilov Medal (1996).

As a trustee of Ceres Trust, which he joined in 2009, Kent was able to further his work in the genetic preservation of food crops and reinforce his opposition to the genetic modification of plants and the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture. For more information about Kent's extraordinary and abundant work, click here.

Ceres Trust regrets to announce the passing of Kent Whealy on March 23, 2018.

Kent and his life continue to be an inspiration to us all!

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