During a recent workshop on regenerative organic agriculture, MUM faculty Dr. A. Thimmaiah helped a group of Bhutanese refugees learn to grow their native food while also learning to heal themselves and the planet. The workshop was the first of five meetings with Dr. Thimmaiah sponsored by Lutheran Social Services in Fargo, North Dakota.
“I was invited to assess their agricultural knowledge, and then build on that knowledge by integrating regenerative organic practices,” said Dr. Thimmaiah. “Because I was able to speak in Hindi and knew their villages, they really opened up. They felt as if I was part of their family.”
Dr. Thimmaiah is a former agriculture advisor to Bhutan and a top expert in organic and biodynamic agriculture who authored the national organic standards for Bhutan. The representatives of the Lutheran Social Services invited Dr. Thimmaiah to be involved with the project after they found an article online about his transformation of the agricultural system in Bhutan.
Dr. Thimmaiah will continue to work with the Fargo group in an advisory role to help build up their four-acre pilot project, and then may help initiate similar projects with the other groups.
Dr. Thimmaiah was also recently invited by the Uberoi Foundation to present at a conference in Denver. The focus of the conference was on how to address issues related to the environment, climate change, and sustainability from the perspective of the four dharmic traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
Dr. Thimmaiah, a native of India, spoke about the need to transcend from sustainable agriculture to the deeper level of regenerative organic agriculture. He explained that inner sustainability is as important as outer sustainability and that people must change from within in order to change the world.
Craig Pearson, MUM vice-president of academic affairs, was also invited to participate and was asked to summarize the conference and make concluding remarks. “Dr. Thimmaiah is an energetic, highly knowledgeable, and charismatic presenter,” said Dr. Pearson. “He is an outstanding representative of Maharishi University of Management and the knowledge and values we represent.”
Dr. Thimmaiah is associate professor of sustainable living at MUM and heads the BA in Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program.