20 Jun Erin Silva named endowed chair in organic agriculture and outreach
Erin Silva, associate professor and extension specialist in the UW–Madison Department of Plant Pathology, has been selected as the first recipient of the Clif Bar Endowed Chair in Organic Agriculture and Outreach.
The new chair, established through a $1 million endowment from Clif Bar & Company, was created to support the advancement of organic agriculture through dedicated research and outreach programs. The endowment leverages a “Morgridge Match” opportunity at the university, doubling the gift to $2 million. This matching opportunity started in fall 2014, when UW–Madison alumni John and Tashia Morgridge promised $100 million to match new gifts toward endowed professorships at the university.
Silva’s selection as chair recognizes her leading-edge work in organic agriculture. Her research and outreach efforts focus on improving organic and sustainable cropping systems, with a special emphasis on organic no-till production and cover crops. Silva co-founded and directs the university’s Organic Grain Resource and Information Network (OGRAIN), a comprehensive program to provide educational support to new, transitioning and experienced organic grain farmers. She also led the establishment of the UW Organic Collaborative group and campus’ certificate in organic agriculture for undergraduates.