Symposium to Focus on Whole Systems Approach to Global Food Security

Manjit Misra portrait
Manjit Misra

AMES, Iowa — The Global Food Security Consortium and the Seed Science Center at Iowa State University will welcome experts from around the world April 14 and 15 to discuss the components necessary for addressing global food security.

The symposium, titled Interlocking the Pieces for Global Food Security, will offer sessions on nutrition; capacity building, education, entrepreneurship and public/private partnerships; and the production environment — seed, soil, livestock and water. It will be held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames.

“Meeting the challenge of global food security involves examining every step of the food value chain,” said Manjit Misra, director of the Global Food Security Consortium and director of the Seed Science Center. “Much like the pieces of a puzzle, several key components need to come together to ensure a safe and nutritious food supply. During this year’s symposium we’ll use a whole systems approach examining each of these factors to discover ways to more efficiently and sustainably feed the world today and in the future.”

“Our symposium will provide an important forum for some of the brightest and best to come together to collectively think outside the box,” said Max Rothschild, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences and co-director of the consortium. “Feeding the world by 2050 will require an interdisciplinary partnership focusing on innovative research in climate-resilient crop and livestock science, education and technology transfer that must be set in motion today.”

Speakers include Arlene Mitchell, executive director of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation; John Bowman, senior agriculture advisor with the United States Agency for International Development Bureau for Food Security; Sara Lilygren, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Tyson Foods Inc.; and Linda Logan, professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University.

A full list of speakers is available online.

This will be the third symposium held as part of the Leroy and Barbara Everson Seed and Biosafety symposium series launched in 2013. It also is sponsored by the ISU Presidential Initiative supporting the Global Food Security Consortium (GFSC) and by a contribution from the family of Leroy Everson, former director of the Iowa State University Seed Laboratory.

Those interested in attending the symposium should register before April 13 by calling (515) 294-6222 or online.

The GFSC is a worldwide initiative based at ISU, bringing interdisciplinary, comprehensive and innovative approaches to the problems of food security through focused research efforts. The consortium develops and promotes interdisciplinary and innovative research along with education and engagement programs bringing together plants, crops and animals in a systems approach to issues of food security.

The Seed Science Center at Iowa State works to improve the production, quality assurance, marketing, utilization and regulatory environment of seed through research, testing, teaching, outreach and international programs.

Rothschild portrait
Max Rothschild