Krista Isaacs, Ph.D.
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
Assistant Professor - International Seed Systems, International agriculture.
1066 Bogue St, Room 358A
East Lansing, MI 48824
Ph.D. Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University
M.P.S. International Agriculture and Rural Development, Cornell University
B.A. Rural and Environmental Sociology, University of Montana
General areas of expertise:
International agriculture, farmer access and availability to preferred seed, participatory processes, participatory plant breeding, crop ecology, intercropping, gender analysis, qualitative methods, knowledge systems, agriculture and nutrition
Overview of current program:
My research program in seed systems for smallholder farmers is rooted in a transdisciplinary perspective that integrates participatory processes, crop ecology and plant breeding with gender studies. This research focuses on improving smallholder access and availability to preferred, quality seed in Africa and Latin America. Methodologically, I combine elements of crop ecology and qualitative methods to learn with farmers and understand their preferences and needs so we can generate innovative strategies for improving agricultural livelihoods and maintaining genetic and agricultural diversity. I aim to practice an inclusive science, where the diverse and varied needs of all voices are heard and contribute to the process.
Isaacs K, Weltzien E, Diallo C, Sidibe M, Diallo B, Rattunde F. 2017 Farmer engagement in culinary testing and grain quality evaluations provides crucial information for sorghum breeding strategies in Mali. In: Tufan HA et al. (eds.). State of the Knowledge for Gender-Responsive Breeding: Case Studies for Practitioners. CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative Working Document. International Potato Center (CIP), Lima.
Rattunde F, Sidibé M, Diallo B, van den Broek E, Somé H, vom Brocke K, Diallo A, Nebie B, Touré A, Isaacs K, and Weltzien E. 2017. Involving women farmers in variety evaluations of a “men’s crop”: Consequences for the sorghum breeding strategy and farmer empowerment in Mali. In: Tufan HA et al. (eds.). State of the Knowledge for Gender-Responsive Breeding: Case Studies for Practitioners. CGIAR Gender and Breeding Initiative Working Document. International Potato Center (CIP), Lima.
Isaacs KB, Snapp SS, Chung K, and Waldman KB. 2016. The value of integrating farmer and researcher knowledge: developing resilient bean and maize cropping systems in Rwanda. Food Security 8(3): 491-506.
Isaacs KB, Snapp SS, Kelly JD, and Chung K. 2016. Farmer knowledge identifies a common bean ideotype for maize-bean intercrop systems in Rwanda. Agriculture and Food Security 5(1).
Chung K, Cashin K, Isaacs K, and Grabowski P. 2015. An Introduction to Nutrition-Sensitive Agricultural Programming. Washington, DC: USAID’s FANTA Project at FHI 360. https://agrilinks.org/training/nutrition-sensitive-agriculture
Waldman KB, Kerr JM, and Isaacs KB. 2014. Combining participatory on-farm agronomic trials and experimental auctions to estimate farmer preferences for improved common bean in Rwanda. Food Policy 46: 183-192.
Isaacs KB, Mohler CL, Caldwell B, Schindelbeck R, and Van Es H. 2007. Organic management improves soil health: Results from the Organic Grain Cropping Systems Experiment. What’s Cropping Up 18(1): 5-7.
Seed and grain quality CSS 151
Extension and outreach activities:
Outreach activities: facilitating the creation and development of a core set of faculty, students, and practitioners working in aspects of seed systems.