American Farmland Trust names program director

By Stacy Goldman

Ann Sorensen has been appointed director of the American Farmland Trust’s Center for Agriculture in the Environment, a program out of NIU’s Social Science Research Institute in DeKalb.

Sorensen said one of the goals she wishes to achieve is to bring a credible objective voice into the development of the agricultural society.

“This is the focal point for AFT’s public policy research efforts and its national sustainable agriculture program,” Sorensen said.

Sorensen said before joining the Farm Bureau, she was a postdoctoral fellow and research associate with Texas A&M University.

“Following that, I worked for the University of Georgia’s Department of Entomology as a postdoctoral associate and the Texas Department of Agriculture as an integrated pest management specialist,” she said.

During that time, Sorensen was responsible for dealing with a variety of agricultural issues, including agricultural production and environmental issues.

Sorensen said she was involved with DNA research, regulatory programs, insect behavior and physiology, and applied insect pathology.

“The AFT serves as a bridge between agriculture and the environment,” she said. “The purpose of the AFT is to do public policy research in agriculture.”

Sorensen said the AFT works with federal and state legislation, looking for ways for farmers to keep their land.

“We also work to keep productive land in farming,” she said.

Sorensen said the AFT is a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. and said the funds they are provided with support personnel and operating costs.

“Professors are involved through NIU have a direct line into state and national policy through the AFT,” she said.

Sorensen said she will continue covering environmental issues for the farm bureau and also will persist in working with pesticides and their effect on the environment.