Dr. Peter Graham- or Carrying on without our Champions


pgraham_becker prairie.jpg
Dr. Peter Graham- admiring prairie legumes

Early last Monday morning I walked across my own bean field creating and composing an idea to work on with my esteemed friend and colleague Dr. Peter Graham. I was thinking about nitrogen fixation in edible beans under organic production practices. I was excited to pitch the idea to Peter and knew he’d share my interest.

When I sat down at my computer I learned that Peter had left us- unexpectedly over the weekend.

Peter changed the course of my life for the better in so many ways. Through the years he was my boss, adviser, mentor, colleague, and at last a friend. I am the person that I am today because of Peter’s generous and large investment of his time, teaching, and resources. I worked with Peter since I was an undergraduate in his lab- and stayed for nearly 8 years- working both in Minnesota and Ecuador. I found a home in his lab was a touchstone of my life.

Peter showed me first hand what it meant to really love the work that you do.

My interest and work in sustainability comes from him and his applied research in nitrogen fixation in legumes. Peter, a respected academic, was also an unsung hero of sustainability. To my mind and experience his work in South America, where he lived for many years, was the opposite of the green revolution. He worked with small farmer on low input (hence N fixation) bean production to improve peoples diets, not exports.

At a time when I was young, lost, and poor Peter brought out the best of my potential. I really am who I am and do what I do today because of the many years that Peter nurtured me with a free rein. There are so few people in life that look out for us (me) in the way that Peter did. Without him, my world is more uncertain and I've lost an umbrella of protection that he held over me for more than 1/2 my life... Even if he held it lightly.


I am so sorry that you have lost this very important person in your life! I'm sure he was proud that you are carrying on his traditions and values.

Time for you to carry the umbrella for another passionate young person. I thank you Peter for the care you gave my sister over the years, and for letting her live her passion. Kathy, you find that young, hungry person and help them, carry them encourage them. I belive in your passion. I understand how you will miss him, make him more proud, as I know you will. I am sorry for your loss.

kathy, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. (((HUGS)))

Kathy, I too am saddened for your loss. It is so difficult to loose a dear companion, especially one who influenced your life as you have recalled. But, you are a strong young women who has experienced memories of time spent with him to treasure. God Bless his memory...and give you peaceful days. Kelley what wonderful advice for all of us to take to heart. Love and hugs, Bev

I love your post quality. I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on May 16, 2009 11:47 AM.

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