IOWA State University and Heifer International, an international development nonprofit organization, announced an agreement to explore new opportunities and projects to use science to address world hunger and poverty.
The collaboration is the first agreement from the Iowa State Global Food Security Consortium, one of the university's recently announced Presidential Initiatives for Interdisciplinary Research. The initiatives pull together researchers from Iowa State, other institutions, national laboratories and industry to tackle significant challenges of national and international importance.
"Our goal is to build on our research strengths and on Heifer International's long history of successful development work to get our faculty and students engaged in interdisciplinary approaches that provide sufficient food and nutrition," said Max Rothschild, a Charles F. Curtiss distinguished professor of agriculture and life sciences and professor of animal science at Iowa State.
Rothschild and Manjit Misra lead the Global Food Security Consortium.
"Innovative advances in climate-resilient crop and livestock science and the ability to transfer technology to those who need it most are at the heart of addressing hunger and poverty," said Misra, Iowa State professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of the Seed Science Center.
"With a projected world population of 9.6 billion people ... by 2050, the challenge is to provide sufficient food and nutrition for all while protecting natural resources," said Rienzzie Kern, senior director of program operations at Heifer International. "Through the partnership, we'll continue to find new ways to deliver on a well-researched, impactful agricultural development model. That is our own challenge because the global situation demands it."
Heifer International's mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For nearly 70 years, the organization has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income.
Based in Little Rock, Ark., Heifer International works in more than 40 countries, including the U.S., to help families and communities become more self-reliant.
The Global Food Security Consortium aims to bring an interdisciplinary, comprehensive and innovative approach to world hunger and poverty through focused research in five major areas: (1) germplasm and seed systems, (2) climate-resilient healthy crops, (3) climate-resilient healthy animals, (4) post-harvest utilization and (5) policies, regulations and trade.