Vilsack to Headline Global Farmer Town Hall Meeting at Iowa State

October 4th, 2010

AMES, Iowa — Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, will be at Iowa State University Oct. 12 to participate in a "Global Farmer Town Hall" meeting.

As part of the United Nations' International Year of Biodiversity, a panel made up of farmers and others from around the globe will convene at ISU to discuss sustainable agriculture practices and their role in biodiversity preservation.

The event will be held 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium in Howe Hall. Iowa State is cosponsoring the event with Crop Life of America and Truth about Trade and Technology in conjunction with the World Food Prize.

Vilsack will present opening remarks and be available to answer questions from students and the audience. The panel will feature farmers from Asia, Latin America and North America explaining what they do daily to preserve the environment, plus experts will address how these practices benefit our world.

Pam Johnson, who is involved in a family farm operation near Floyd in north-central Iowa, is one of the farmer panelists. Other farmers are Rajesh Kumar, who grows vegetables in India, and Camila Ilich, a crop and tree farmer from Brazil.

Other panelists include Gary Munkvold, Seed Science Endowed Chair and chair of the Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business at Iowa State, and Judy Chambers, director of the Program for Biosafety Systems at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C.

Orion Samuelson, host of several nationally syndicated agricultural broadcasts, will facilitate the town hall meeting. For a truly global discussion, the event will be broadcast around the world via the Internet and the panel will take questions live via Twitter, email, Facebook and two-way video.

Advance registration is recommended but not required, and is free. Register here.

The event will be streamed live via Webcast here.

To submit a question for the panel, go here.


Manjit Misra, Seed Science Center, (515) 294-6821,

Brian Meyer, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, (515) 294-0706,

Susan Thompson, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, (515) 294-0705,