College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Agricultural & Resource Economics

AGNR Cornerstone Event - Global Challenges: Building Healthy Food Systems

The AGNR Cornerstone Event will be held on Oct. 4, in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union.

This fall on Oct. 4, researchers, professors and students alike will come together for the first-ever Cornerstone Event, hosted by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR), which will focus on issues related to domestic and international food safety and security.

The annual series title, the AGNR Cornerstone Event, serves as a nod to the college’s history as the University’s founding institution and will showcase each of the college’s strategic initiatives.This year’s inaugural event is titled Global Challenges: Building Healthy Food Systems, to highlight the strategic initiative to Establish a Healthy Food System and Ensure Global Food and Nutritional Security. Members within the AGNR community will have the opportunity to showcase their work, and among those presenters are Taryn Devereux and Rachel Rosenberg Goldstein of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC).

Devereux is a faculty specialist with Extension, and also teaches a class for AREC that is part of the university honors program curriculum. Her course, Alleviating Poverty in Developing Countries: The Economics and Challenges of Development Programs, focuses on economic concepts and how they relate to finding solutions to development issues.

Devereux is on the healthy food systems committee for the event and will be speaking about her research as a gender specialist, specifically relating to the Women in Agriculture in Ethiopia project, hosted by AREC. Food security is a major barrier to development in Ethiopia, and Devereux has completed extensive research in attempt to improve family food security by delivering training in agriculture and nutrition to limited-resource women. Her presentation will review the impact of the project, as well as outline its connection to food security as a whole.

Assistant Research Professor Rachel Rosenberg Goldstein will also be presenting at the Cornerstone Event during the Water for Food and Agriculture session. Goldstein is the co-project director of the CONSERVE extension team, a Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food and Health project.

Her presentation is titled, “Farmer Perspectives on Water Availability and Water Reuse,” and will explain why water is essential for agriculture, how it is being stressed as a result of climate change and detail the results of a needs assessment survey among farmers.

“This event will bring together the amazing researches at the University of Maryland who work on issues that are all related to healthy food systems,” Goldstein said of the occasion. “It is a chance to see how many different areas impact food security. By talking across disciplines, we will be able to be more innovative and develop stronger solutions to water and food security issues.”

The keynote speaker of the event is 2009 World Food Prize winner Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, a major player in the industry from Ethiopia, having advised multiple U.S. presidents and U.S. secretary generals. In addition, Dr. Ejeta was appointed by President Obama as a member of the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development in 2011. Following extensive research on the parasitic weed Striga, Dr. Ejeta has fostered economic development and the empowerment of farmers through the creation of agricultural operations in rural Africa.

To register for the event, please do so here.

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