The Farm Foundation has organized a competition seeking innovative and promising public policy options to address the challenges agriculture may face in providing food, feed, fiber and fuel over the next 30 years.

The competition is open to anyone with an interest in the public policy issues outlined in the Foundation's report, The 30-Year Challenge: Agriculture's Strategic Role in Feeding and Fueling a Growing World.

The Foundation intends to award cash prizes totaling $20,000. Entry deadline is June 1, 2009. Details of the competition are posted online.

Released in December 2008, The 30-Year Challenge report identifies six major areas of challenges. Within each area of challenges, the report highlights key issues public and private decision makers may need to consider as they address the challenges of feeding a world population that is forecast to reach almost 9 billion people by 2040, about one-third greater than today. Incomes are rising, particularly in many developing nations, bringing changes in dietary preferences and greater demand for agriculture to provide food and energy. All this increases pressure on and competition for natural resources at a time when the impacts of climate change on agricultural production systems are not yet fully understood.

"U.S. agriculture alone cannot feed a growing world. However, with its rich endowment of agricultural resources and its leadership in technology, the United States will play a critical role in determining if the world will meet this 30-year challenge," says Farm Foundation President Neil Conklin. "Given the right tools and incentives, we are confident the world's agriculture producers and agribusinesses will rise to the challenge. But those incentives are heavily influenced by public policy. It is not clear that today's policies-designed to deal with issues of the last century-will provide appropriate tools and incentives to address the 30-year challenge."

Farm Foundation is offering this competition as a catalyst for discussion of innovative and promising public policy options.

SOURCE: Farm Foundation news release.