ISU and Heifer International to Partner to End World Hunger

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University and Heifer International, an international development nonprofit organization, have agreed to explore new opportunities and projects to use science to address world hunger and poverty.

The collaboration is the first agreement from the Iowa State’s Global Food Security Consortium, one of the recently announced ISU Presidential Initiatives for Interdisciplinary Research. The initiatives pull together researchers from ISU, other institutions, national labs and industry to tackle significant challenges of national and international importance.

“Our goal is to build on our research strengths and on Heifer International’s long history of successful development work to get our faculty and students engaged in interdisciplinary approaches that provide sufficient food and nutrition,” said Max Rothschild, a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences and professor of animal science.

Rothschild and Manjit Misra lead the Global Food Security Consortium.

“Innovative advances in climate-resilient crop and livestock science and the ability to transfer technology to those who need it most are at the heart of addressing hunger and poverty,” said Misra, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, Dean’s Chair for Distinction on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Seed Science Center.

“With a projected world population of 9.6 billion people predicted by 2050, the challenge is to provide sufficient food and nutrition for all, while protecting natural resources,” said Rienzzie Kern, senior director of program operations at Heifer International, based in Little Rock, Ark. “Through the partnership, we’ll continue to find new ways to deliver on a well-researched, impactful agricultural development model. That is our own challenge because the global situation demands it.”

Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the earth. For nearly 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer International works in more than 40 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For more information about Heifer International, visit

ISU’s Global Food Security Consortium will bring an interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and innovative approach to world hunger and poverty through focused research in five major areas:  germplasm and seed systems; climate-resilient healthy crops; climate-resilient healthy animals; post-harvest and utilization; and policies, regulations and trade. The consortium joins other internationally focused programs in ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, including: the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, which works in Uganda to improve food security through agricultural education, improved nutrition education, livestock and crop production and microfinance; the Global Resources Systems major, which trains students to participate in international agricultural development; and research on development of new food crop varieties and seed centers to propagate improved crops.