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Progressive Farmer Names C.S. Prakash 'Man of Year'

Contact: Gregory Conko, 202-550-2974, or greg@agbioworld.org

AUBURN, Ala., Feb. 4 -- Progressive Farmer magazine has named Tuskegee University plant genetics professor C.S. Prakash the 2002 Man of the Year in Service to Alabama Agriculture. As a plant biotechnology teacher and practitioner, Prakash's research has led to the development of high-protein sweet potato varieties and he has contributed to research on other genetically modified food crops.

As founder and president of the AgBioWorld Foundation, he has advanced public awareness of the role biotechnology and GM crops can play in promoting sustainable agriculture and improving conditions in less developed nations. The Birmingham, Alabama-based Progressive Farmer is published by Southern Progress Corporation, which also publishes Southern Living and Cooking Light magazines. The publication established the Man and Woman of the Year awards program in 1943 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the profession of agriculture. Each year the winners are featured in the February issue of the magazine.

Professor Prakash serves as director of Tuskegee University's Center for Plant Biotechnology research, where his current research focuses on the development of genetically modified transgenic plants, tissue culture, and plant genomics. The research team he leads has used biotechnology to improve the quality and increase the quantity of the proteins in sweet potato, an easy-to-grow food crop in many poorer countries of the tropics, where high-quality protein foods are often hard to come by.

As founder and president of the AgBioWorld Foundation, Prakash has written numerous articles and delivered many public addresses explaining how biotechnology can safely and effectively contribute to improving food security and enhanced nutrition in less developed nations while simultaneously protecting biodiversity and contributing to sustainable agriculture. The Foundation hosts a website (http://www.agbioworld.org) and one of the leading biotechnology-related on-line discussion services that shares news reports, scientific research, and commentary with thousands of participants each day.

The AgBioWorld website also features a Declaration in Support of Agricultural Biotechnology, signed by more than 3,300 scientists from around the world, including 19 Nobel Prize winners.

The AgBioWorld Foundation is a non-profit educational organization based in Auburn, Ala. For more information, contact Gregory Conko at 202-550-2974.