By Leslie Reed/Omaha World Herald
LINCOLN — Two top agricultural officials from the University of Nebraska are in Washington, D.C., today, leading discussions about water, food security and rural land use.
A 9 a.m. panel discussion at the National Press Club and a 2 p.m. policy briefing on Capitol Hill will help highlight U.N. World Water Day, which is Friday.
Roberto Lenton, executive director of NU’s Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute, and Ronnie Green, vice chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will help guide both discussions, as will Margaret Zeigler, executive director of the Global Harvest Initiative, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank financed by global ag giants Monsanto, DuPont, John Deere, Elanco and IBM.
NU’s participation in today’s events recognizes its effort to play a leadership role in developing international policy on managing water and food supplies and advocating for the world’s rural population.
Other participants in the panel discussion at the press club include Manish Bapna, an executive at the World Resources Institute; Heidi Cullen, a climatologist at Climate Central; Claudia Garcia, an executive at Elanco; and Paul Weisenfeld, an official at the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Food Security.
Those participating in the Capitol Hill briefing include Catherine Woteki, an undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Mark Svoboda, a climatologist at UNL’s National Drought Mitigation Center; Joel Lipsitch, a John Deere executive; and April Hemmes, an Iowa cattle and grain farmer.
The title for both events is “Too Hot, Too Wet, Too Dry: Building Resilient Agroecosystems.” NU will use the same theme for its fifth global Water for Food Conference, scheduled for May 5 through May 8 in Lincoln.