Memphis, Tennessee (Nov. 29, 2017) – 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 yesterday and today 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,” said 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,” said 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.
- 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 is co-hosted by FFAR and AgLaunch with a special session co-organized with PepsiCo.
For more information about the Foundation’s work in resilient agriculture, please contact John Reich, Scientific Program Director. For more information about AgLaunch, please visit aglaunch.com or contact Pete Nelson.
About the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit organization established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation.