MSU joins global food security initiative
Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon will help lead a national higher education initiative to prepare to feed a hungrier planet.
The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities launched a commission to examine the challenges involved in feeding the more populous, more urban world expected in the next generation or two.
It will include public research universities around the country focused on supporting the three pillars of food security: access, availability and utilization.
From perhaps 7.3 billion people today, the Earth’s population is expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050. That population will demand nutrition produced with no more land or water than exist today, with the additional challenges expected to be posed by climate change, including extreme weather, drought and pests.
Simon was named to the group’s executive committee, which is chaired by North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson. The commission’s work is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“Starting as America’s pioneer land-grant university, Michigan State has earned a global reputation as a food expert, so our participation in this initiative is natural,” Simon said. “Our research expertise, our agri-food networks and our long international experience in food systems will be important assets as we join with colleagues around the country to develop an agenda to meet this challenge.”
The information and recommendations developed by the commission and its task forces, expected to be finalized in 2017, will be forwarded to the next U.S. president to inform decisions about federal support of public university efforts.