Resilient Ag Event Brings Together Premier Research and Thought Leaders

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit established through bipartisan congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, and AgLaunch, a Memphis-based joint initiative of Memphis Bioworks Foundation and Tennessee Department of Agriculture focused on building and creating new agtech and value chain companies, are bringing together thought leaders from premier research institutions, universities, food companies and agriculture organizations to explore opportunities to develop resilient agriculture systems through crop diversity.

Discussion topics at a scientific convening event held Nov. 28 -29 include crop diversity and resilient systems, market opportunities and qualities of diverse crops, growing crops in different environments, and technologies for crop adaptations, as well as a special breakout session on diploid breeding in potatoes.

“Research must pave the way for the food and agriculture system to take advantage of the many different and unknown crops that are being underutilized, or not used at all,” says Sally Rockey, Ph.D., executive director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. “The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is pleased to join AgLaunch and PepsiCo to identify scientific opportunities in crop diversity that are prime for making an impact on new market opportunities for farmers, environmental resilience, and human health.”

“A key goal for AgLaunch is to help shape agricultural research priorities to lower the barriers to entry for new crops and diverse cropping systems as a platform to adapting to a changing environment, increasing population and new innovation,” says Pete Nelson, President & Executive Director of AgLaunch. “This convening event hosted with FFAR is helping to bring together the leading global researchers interested in crop diversity towards developing consortia that can drive new research objectives and creation of new public private partnerships.”

The Resilient Ag convening includes tours of Agricenter International, Arkansas State University, GreenLeaf Learning Farms, Ritter Agribusiness, and The Kitchen Community. 

Presenters include:

  • Ronn Garry, Jr., Tropical Foods
  • Gabe Gusmini, PepsiCo
  • Tengfang Huang, Precision PlantSciences
  • Karen Karp, Karen Karp & Partners
  • Sean Mayes, University of Nottingham/Crops for the Future
  • Mohammad Oufattole, Benson Hill Systems
  • Joe Tohme, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • William Zorilla, Earth’s Harvest

Participating universities include Arizona State University, Arkansas State University, Colorado State University, Clemson University, Michigan State University, Mississippi State University, Texas A&M, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts, University of Tennessee, and University of Wisconsin.

The Resilient Agriculture for the 21st Century event is being held at the Halloran Performing Arts Center.

The event was co-hosted by FFAR and AgLaunch with a special session co-organized by PepsiCo.

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