Ag leaders are joining the fight in tackling hunger

Agriculture research development is helping fight global hunger.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith joined agriculture leaders in the Magnolia State for a panel discussion about how ag research can help fight global hunger.

RFD-TV’s Tammi Arender had the chance to catch up with her:

At Mississippi State University, agricultural leaders and scientists come together to talk research and development. The panel was assembled by the Farm Journal Foundation.

Farm Journal Foundation’s Kelsey Barnes said, “We really build a network with farmers and hear from them about their concerns, but also work with them on smallholder farmer issues in developing nations so that we can develop policy and help advocate for policy that makes the world more food secure.”

Senator Hyde-Smith had the opportunity to visit Mississippi State’s Ag Research Station and Farm where just one of the issues they are tackling right now is how to prevent respiratory diseases in livestock.

“It is very promising of what’s happening here and the results they’ve had so far on the research because we need well animals. We need animals that are in the production line that are well, and healthy, and people want to go buy because that protein is so important to American diets,” said Sen. Hyde-Smith.

Hyde-Smith and other panelists say ag research has an important role to play in strengthening global food security and U.S. national security.

“Agriculture research is so fundamentally important to the future of food security in this country. It’s important for people in this state, but also the rest of the world as well. I was just in Africa last week - saw hungry people there and working with the University, trying to find a way to help do research there that would lead to feeding their own people,” said Keith Coble, Mississippi State Division of Ag and Forestry Vice President.

Agricultural research has a lot of benefits. According to the Farm Journal Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation, agricultural research has a return of about $17 in benefits per $1 invested.

“Now that we know research in the U.S. has declined, other trade countries, including China, are significantly outpacing us in research and development, it’s really important we actually put the pen to paper and make sure that we are increasing the funds for research and development,” said Barnes.

Mississippi State students, like Catie Kalbach, wanted to listen in to hear what is being done to bolster this type of research.

“It’s inspiring to be here today and hear a little about what Mississippi State and the state of Mississippi are doing globally to help advance food security,” Kalbach said.

“We’re working on the Farm Bill right now and that’s where most of that takes place, but you have to be that voice that makes sure that research is included because we can never stop research. The innovations that have happened just in the last few years are just incredible, and it does increase our food supply, it safely increases our food supply, it safely increases the health of the animal, and everyone wants to eat a healthy animal, but have an abundance of it,” Sen. Hyde-Smith said.

Related Stories