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Exploring N.E. Hansen and the Era of Economic Botany

January 18 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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Kevin Kephart, is Vice President Emeritus for Research and Economic Development at South Dakota State University and is the head of industry relations at Indigo Ag Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company based in Boston, MA. Kephart will present a lecture on the career of horticulturist Niels Ebbesen Hansen. Hansen was SDSU’s eminent horticulturalist from 1895 to 1937 and served as the first official Plant Explorer for the US Department of Agriculture. He was widely known throughout the Plains States and many of the plant varieties cultivated in the Northern Great Plains today were either developed by Hansen or served as the genetic background for future developments. Examples of Hansen’s introductions include hardy varieties of grain crops found in Scandinavia and Northern Russia and hardy varieties of apples, cherries, plums, and apricots found in Siberia and Northern China. Hansen’s greatest economic impact resulted from his work on hardy alfalfa varieties. Kephart will discuss Hansen’s work in the context of the overall plant introduction program at USDA during the first half of the twentieth century. This lecture is free and open to the public


January 18
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm