Manuel L. Logroño
A Steward of the Earth
Knowing about the works of Manuel L. Logroño leads one to understand what Wendell Berry meant when he said, “We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist.”
Logroño’s strong affinity to the earth is clearly manifested in his choice of academic track. In college, he entered Silliman University, enrolled in its BS Agriculture program, and earned the degree with great honors (magna cum laude) in 1979. He then proceeded to earn his post-graduate degrees from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB) (MS Agronomy, Plant Breeding) and from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (PhD Agronomy and Soil Science, majoring in plant breeding and genetics).
Early on in his career, he set his eyes on the cultivation of maize. In fact, in his first academic assignment at UPLB, he was part of the team that focused on maize breeding and genetic development. This team was instrumental in developing corn varieties that were high yielding and disease resistant.
After completing his further studies in the US, he returned to the country and initiated major hybrid corn breeding programs that had high produce and yielded hybrids that were pest resistant. These were adopted by the Department of Agriculture in its efforts to increase corn production in the country.
Because of his pioneering efforts that capitalized on his knowledge and expertise, new varieties of corn have been developed, providing consumers with produce that have improved nutritional qualities. Not only that, his expert use of science, technology, and innovation has helped the farmers improve their livelihood.
Indeed, Logroño has proven himself “a craftsman of the highest order,” and Silliman University recognizes his contribution to crop research and development, plant breeding and genetics.