The United Nations estimates that by the year 2050, farmers will need to produce 70 percent more food in order to meet the needs of a population that will exceed 9 billion. At the same time, consumers are embracing the local food movement and demanding sustainable agriculture practices. In the middle of this growing demand, local farmers are finding innovative ways to balance the needs of their neighbors down the street with the needs of a growing world population.
A new lecture series sponsored by the department will explore these challenges and others facing today’s farmers. The goal of the series is to educate college students about the importance of agriculture in our daily lives. The Commissioner’s Speakers Series is moderated by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and includes panelists from agriculture and agribusiness. The first session will be held at N.C. State University tonight at 5.
Commissioner Troxler and other panelists will explore the topic “Feeding the World in 2020,” dealing with the challenges of feeding a growing global population. Tonight’s panelists include Julie Groce of Novartis, Norris Tolson of N.C. Biotechnology Center, Dr. David Smith of N.C. State University, and farmers Reggie Strickland and John Vollmer.
The original Commissioner’s Speakers Series was held at N.C. State in 2010. This year, the series has expanded to include four North Carolina universities. In addition to tonight’s session, N.C. State will host another session April 11 focusing on the farm bill and agriculture policy. The series also will include events at UNC-Asheville April 4 at 4 p.m., UNC-Charlotte April 18 at 4 p.m. and UNC-Greensboro April 25 at 6:30 p.m. Those sessions will focus on the local food movement in North Carolina.
All events are free and open to the public. You can find more information at www.ncagr.gov/paffairs/SpeakersSeries.htm.