Wintersteen honored with national Food Systems Leadership Award

Wendy Wintersteen portrait

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen is the recipient of the 2020 Food Systems Leadership Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Wintersteen was presented with the award Nov. 4 during APLU’s Community of Scholars Celebrating Excellence program.

The Food Systems Leadership Award is the highest recognition bestowed by APLU for a leader in the food system. The honor recognizes senior leaders who have made extraordinary impact on the food system through leadership and service, and who exemplify the core principles established by the Food Systems Leadership Institute, including personal leadership, organizational leadership and food systems leadership. The award also recognizes the leadership, innovation, engagement and service that APLU promotes through its programs.

This is the second year in a row the award has been given to a leader connected to Iowa State University. In 2019, the honoree was Catherine Woteki, who currently has a faculty appointment in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and who served as dean of ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences from 2002 to 2005.

Wintersteen, who has served as president of Iowa State University since 2017, has worked to advance education, agriculture and food systems in many ways. She serves on the board of directors for America’s Cultivation Corridor, a regional economic initiative establishing Iowa as the global center for excellence in agricultural biosciences, advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. In 2020 she was selected to serve on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s National Council for Expanding American Innovation. She is a member of the World Food Prize Council of Advisors, the Governor's STEM Advisory Council Executive Committee and the Iowa Business Council’s Business Education Alliance. She is a member of the APLU Council of Presidents and APLU Research Intensive Committee. She is past president of the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation, which is committed to promoting a broader, more complete understanding of agriculture.

Over her more than 40 years at the university, Wintersteen has served in many leadership roles in agricultural research, extension and education, including 11 years as holder of the Endowed Dean’s Chair of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station.

In October, Wintersteen was the recipient of the 2020 National Ruby Award, the most prestigious recognition given by Epsilon Sigma Phi, the national honor society for extension professionals.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The association's membership consists of 246 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations. APLU's mission is to expand access and improve student success to deliver the innovative workforce of tomorrow; advance and promote research and discovery to improve society, foster economic growth and address global challenges; and build healthy, prosperous, equitable and vibrant communities locally and globally.