A panel discussion, hosted by Farm Journal Foundation and Kansas State University Tuesday at the Stanley Stout Center, focused on how agricultural innovations can mitigate global hunger and malnutrition.
It included Kansas 1st District Congressman Tracey Mann, who says investing in agricultural innovation strengthens the safety net for producers and people around the world, likening food security to national security.
Pennsylvania Congressman and House Ag Committee Chair Glenn Thompson noted the issue of food security came to the forefront during the pandemic amid supply chain shutdowns and shortages.
Also pressuring the global food system is the ongoing war in Ukraine, extreme weather events and continued supply chain disruptions.
K-State College of Agriculture Dean Ernie Minton highlighted some of the innovative research being done at the university, noting in particular Applied Wheat Genomics, which have helped address problems with wheat production in South Asia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Rep. Thompson spoke to why science, technology and innovation are such important issues for Congress to turn their attention to.
Thompson and Mann noted the importance of leading that innovation as it ties into food security and national security.
Minton says a huge backlog of deferred maintenance is impacting land grant universities across the country including K-State.
Following the discussion, Congressman Mann spoke with reporters about the need for increasing crop insurance to bolster the safety net for farmers.
Congressman Thompson says removing red tape for farmers applying for those benefits is also crucial.
According to the World Food Program, as many as 1 in 10 people worldwide are affected by hunger, highlighting the need for long-term investments in agriculture research and development according to panelists at Tuesday’s discussion.
Other participants Tuesday included Ambassador Gregg Doud, former Chief Agricultural Negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and currently the Vice President, Global Situational Awareness and Chief Economist at Aimpoint Research; and Farm Journal Foundation’s Kansas Farmer Ambassador Tyler Lund. The panel discussion was moderated by Katie Lee, Farm Journal Foundation’s Vice President of Government Affairs.
In addition to Tuesday’s discussion, panelists attended a roundtable lunch with K-State President Richard Linton Tuesday and toured some of the university’s research facilities. The full panel discussion is shared in the video below.