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DAA: Jan Doorenbos

Jan Doorenbos

Utrecht, The Netherlands | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 1997

Dr. Doorenbos has pursued to distinguish public-service career in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Netherlands. Always concerned with the improvement up rural life in developing countries he served in a variety of positions. Most recently, he was lead advisor to the international fund of agriculture development at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Previously, he served as an FAO representative in Turkey, Mauritius, and Nigeria. While abroad, he worked to improve argicultural practices, particularly in the areas of land and water use. From 1968 to 1978 Dr. Doorenbos was a technical officer for in the land and water development division of FAO. During that time, he traveled to more than 40 countries promoting an integrated systems approach to rural development. He also has been both assistant director and director for International Affairs of the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture. Dr. Doorenbos is renowned for his ability to relate to farmers of all nations and stations in life. He has worked on the grass roots level to improve crop productivity and solve problems, especially those related to irrigation. He is the author of many publications on land and water use and has been co-editor of the Journal of Irrigation Sciences. His most recent handbook, A System Approach to Irrigation Development, was translated into 50 languages. Dr. Doorenbos also developed internationally known equation for predicting crop evapotranspiration in arid climates. Whatever his pursuits, Dr. Doorenbos has always placed the importance of the farmer first.  While representing the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, he collaborated with the World Bank and other organizations to implement emergency food relief programs. As a former lecturer and initiator of international conferences, he shared with his contemporaries the importance of helping improve the human condition.