Ag leaders ask for public support to meet imminent challenges

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Public investment in agricultural research has declined in the past three years, leading current and former USDA officials to question the role of the U.S. in meeting growing world food demands.

Globe America’s role in global agricultural production was discussed Tuesday night in Lincoln, Neb. at the Heuermann Lecture, "Regaining the U.S. Lead in Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education.”

Catherine Woteki, USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics, and Dan Glickman, former U.S. secretary of agriculture presented information on the issue prior to a panel discussion.

Concerns were raised over the falling investments in U.S. agriculture and resulting effects on food production. Glickman spoke to the changing demographics globally, including rising incomes in developing countries which will drive an increased demand for meat and other foods.

The rising population necessitates increased research and development as U.S. farmers and ranchers are limited in land and other resources.

Changing weather patterns will also affect future production. Glickman says the shift in rain patterns and rising temperatures threaten production efficiencies.

“The global food system is growing more fragile. Ag productivity globally could decline two percent each decade just because of these weather volatilities,” Glickman said.

While the U.S. has decreased its investment in agriculture, other countries continue to research and are gaining status in the field.

Woteki says China has surpassed the United States in spending on agricultural science in the last decade and other countries have considerably increased ag productivity.

Glickman says the U.S. can improve its role in global agricultural production, but it needs heroes. He pointed to a stronger relationship with the public who has lost their connection to the farms that grow the food they eat, but are becoming increasingly interested in the process from farm to table.

Read more information on the lecture series.

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Texas  |  January, 15, 2014 at 08:55 PM

Since you waddies at seem to be completely, politically tone-deaf, let me spell this out for you. "...leading, current and former USDA officials", who just happen to be a crew of Leftist Dems are making an amazingly audacious public relations push. Our current administration has cut back on research programs, while the current Ag Sec makes the rounds spouting about investment in "rural America". The Dem shill, Glickman even worked in a few references to Global Warming/Climate Change, which is apparently being relabeled, "shifts in rain patterns". Aren't we all aware by now that this is all a Leftist Flim-Flam scheme? The only reason that China may be gaining ground in research is that our current anti-capitalist regime has turned a deaf ear to their abuse of technology law, as well as theft of manufacturing patents by the thousands. This is NOT a "lecture series", this is Leftist traveling dog & pony show - sponsored by WHOM?

Rich Kozlovich    
Ohio  |  January, 16, 2014 at 06:54 AM

All this is very interesting, but I noticed there was a serious lack of information in this article about just what kind of research they want done and what kind of research China's doing. Dare I think it....dare I say it....yes I will....could it be research on genetically modified organism's? That's the only real research that will impact world hunger and the current administration is filled with radical green activists, and being against GMO's is a major tenet of their secular religion - environmentalism. So what exactly are they really wanting this money for? As for feeding the rest of the world? I think we shouldn't have to worry about them since for the most part they practice 'organic' and ‘all natural’ agriculture, and the greenies and their acolytes in government constantly intone to all who will listen, and all who are ignorant, that's the solution to the world's food production. So then….why do we need research when the world has “organic”?

Henry J.    
January, 21, 2014 at 09:08 AM

After all this time "working" in agriculture Dan Glickman is still clueless. There is no amount of giveaway "research" money that will fix stupidity. Ol' Dan boy is walking talking proof of that.

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