Scientists unite to share ag data and feed the world

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

In the United States, we haven’t worried about food security since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930′s. In fact, our farmers have become so productive we have a thriving food export sector that has returned a positive effect on our economy for over 40 years. Unfortunately, many other countries cannot make that same claim.

Over 870 million people are malnourished or hungry according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. As the world grows more interconnected every day, it is imperative that we reach across borders to help other countries solve issues as fundamental as the ability to feed their people.

As Chief Scientist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), I am on the front lines of agricultural innovation. Thousands of scientists funded or employed by USDA at universities and research institutions across America have been working for decades to understand the genetics and other aspects of plants and food animals to increase productivity. Among their successes: the development of crops that can withstand the devastating effects of climate change, from drought to flood to insects; and helping to breed more productive dairy and beef cattle, which has increased the economic vitality of breeders and ranchers, and lowered methane emissions.

Now, through an initiative of the G-8, the world’s scientists are ready to take the next step, and they will take it together. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will lead the U.S. delegation to the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture on April 29-30th in Washington, D.C. The conference is an opportunity to advance President Obama’s call to openness and transparency in government on an international stage. Recently, his Administration directed all federal agencies to develop policies and procedures to provide open access to publicly funded research and the publications resulting from it – something only Canada and the United Kingdom have already done. This conference takes that concept to the next level, as a starting point to move scientific collaboration into the 21st century, both for global food security and economic stability.

What is commonly meant by “open data?” Open data is often referred to as the concept that information should be freely available to the public, without restriction or charge for its use by others. In the food and agricultural realm, open data is an essential piece of finding the answers we’ll need to feed the world. Right now, most of the cutting edge scientific research being done on agricultural issues is being done in developed countries. The countries can, and often do, share their findings with researchers in other countries by way of collaborations and educational opportunities. Opening that data without restriction to every scientist in the world would democratize access and accelerate innovation.

By convening the world’s leaders in agriculture, we hope to launch a movement that will close the gap of scientific achievement between the developing and developed nations. We will empower farmers and agricultural producers from Uganda to Bangladesh with the knowledge gained by those in other countries so that they can be as fruitful and productive as producers anywhere. And together, we hope to build a future of economic prosperity and food security that we only dream of today.

For more information on the conference, please visit the conference website or e-mail G8AGOPENDATA@osec.usda.gov


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (2) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left

gahimano thomas    
Israel  |  April, 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM

it is better to know that the world is more and more interconnected u have to improve ur effort to support malnourished countries!

NSENGIYUMVA Jean Claude    
KARONGI  |  June, 21, 2013 at 06:35 AM

Well, What will you do to help malnourished countries to improve their lives? And this will help us to know where to start our contribution. Talk soon.


Portable Conveyors

Convey-all portable conveyors are designed to handle your crops gently and efficiently. We offer an extensive line of high capacity ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form