Purdue to host third Borlaug institute on global food security

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The third Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security will be held June 8-21 at Purdue University for 30 graduate students from across the country taking on the challenge of helping to find solutions to world hunger.

The two-week program, hosted by the Purdue Center for Global Food Security, combines lectures, practicums, small-group work and visits to farms for 30 students selected from 22 U.S. universities, including Purdue. Students represent nine countries - Singapore, Ecuador, India, Uganda, Nepal, Kenya, Honduras and Pakistan in addition to the United States - and eight academic disciplines, including plant pathology, agronomy, economics and conflict resolution.

Students will develop country-specific food security interventions written in response to a simulated request for proposals from the United States Agency for International Development. Purdue professors with experience in international development will simulate a donor panel on the last day, challenging students to defend their proposals.

"The goal of the summer institute is to provide participants with a holistic understanding of the conceptual challenges around global food security, with a focus on cross-disciplinary problem solving of real-world development challenges," said Gebisa Ejeta, director of the Center for Global Food Security, based at Purdue's Discovery Park. Ejeta, distinguished professor of agronomy and the 2009 World Food Prize laureate, is among the featured speakers at the institute.

Other key speakers are:

  • Julie Howard, chief scientist, USAID's Bureau for Food Security.
  • Julie Borlaug, assistant director for partnerships of The Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University. She is the granddaughter of the late Norman Borlaug, an agronomist and humanitarian for whom the institute is named.
  • Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture.
  • Suresh Garimella, chief global affairs officer, Purdue University.
  • Connie Veilette, senior fellow, global food security and aid effectiveness, The Lugar Center.
  • Lisa Eakman Moon, vice president, global agriculture and food, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
  • Jonathan Gressel, professor emeritus, Weizmann Institute of Science.
  • Suresh Babu, senior research fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute.
  • Matthew Huber, professor of earth sciences, University of New Hampshire.

The summer institute is part of the U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security program, funded by USAID under the Feed the Future initiative. The program strives to prepare the next generation of U.S. food security professionals with the scientific foundation needed to effectively study and manage the global landscape in support of sustainable food systems.

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