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Winrock International is a recognized leader in U.S. and international development with a focus on social, agricultural and environmental issues. Inspired by its namesake Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock combines scientific and technical expertise with entrepreneurial innovation to deliver market-based solutions that improve lives around the world. Winrock’s mission is to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources across the globe.
Winrock International grew from parallel dreams and a shared vision. And it grew from the land, a 927-acre tract atop Petit Jean Mountain in Arkansas, where Winthrop Rockefeller, grandson of Standard Oil’s John D. Rockefeller, established Winrock Farms in 1953. He brought in a herd of hardy Santa Gertrudis cattle from Texas and created a model farm and livestock center to demonstrate state-of-the-art agricultural methods.
Economic development was a hallmark of Rockefeller’s two terms as governor of Arkansas, and after his death in 1973, trustees of his estate created the Winrock International Research and Training Center to further his wish that the farm be “venturesome and innovative” and provide tools to help people help themselves.
While Winthrop was focusing on livestock research and rural development, his brother John D. Rockefeller III was concentrating on Asia’s burgeoning population and its food shortages. The two organizations he created — the International Agricultural Development Service and the Agricultural Development Council (A/D/C) — addressed these issues by identifying, educating and maintaining a network of homegrown experts. A/D/C, for instance, supported U.S. professors who lived and worked in Asia — a unique approach that provided a deep understanding of local needs.