Recap: 9 Billion and Counting: Abolishing Hunger

Almost 300 participants gathered for the “9 Billion and Counting: Abolishing Hunger” event on the St. Paul Campus on October 17th. The event featured a symposium of global food experts, CFANS faculty and student presenters, and the dedication of the Eldon Siehl Garden and Plaza, featuring a statue of Norman Borlaug.

The day began with Dr. Jan Low presenting the Norman Borlaug Memorial Lecture. She talked about how orange is the color for good health and potential life-saving attributes—in the form of sweetpotato. The regional leader for Africa of the International Potato Center in Nairobi, Kenya, Low discussed the sweetpotato breeding for which she has dedicated years of research. Her advances in an integrated approach to assuring diet quality and quantity by using biofortified sweetpotato are part of why she became the most recent recipient of the World Food Prize Award.

The day continued as CFANS faculty and student experts shared how they are driven to abolish hunger and working toward improving global food security. Following comments from U.S. Senator Amy Klobucher (D-Minnesota), a lunch panel focused on the importance of public and private partnerships in addressing world hunger.

The day concluded with the dedication of the Eldon Siehl Garden and Plaza, which celebrates Siehl Prize Laureates and portrays the accomplishment of those who have made contributions in agriculture to alleviate world hunger. During the ceremony, U of M President Eric Kaler received the Norman E. Borlaug Medallion from Ambassador Quinn, presented to the university in recognition of its leadership as an institution whose actions have benefited mankind and for achievements along the full food production and distribution chain. At the heart of the garden artist Benjamin Victor’s seven-foot bronze sculpture of Norman E. Borlaug will serve as a constant reminder of the difference an individual’s passion can make in changing the world for the better. The U of M is institutionally driven to discover solutions to end hunger and this conference is a part of bringing to the public the results of those efforts.

More details of the day can be found here, information about the day's speakers can be found here, and photos can be found here