Labex-Flex-UMN partnership launched

Brazil is a global agricultural powerhouse, and Minnesota is a large agricultural state, ranking fifth in the United States by value of agricultural production. Both places confront many common agricultural problems that can mutually benefit from strategic collaboration in research and development (R&D). Minnesota and Brazil are joining forces to tackle problems of viable productivity growth in agriculture, sustainably. A novel Labex-Flex-UMN partnership between Brazil and Minnesota will be officially launched at a conference to be held at the University of Minnesota (UMN), St. Paul campus.

On May 30, the partnership with the UMN Supercomputing Institute, CFANS, and Embrapa launched as Labex-Flex-UMN. Presentations from initiative leadership to a number of corporate and association leaders revealed how we are becoming a global leader in turning big and small data alike into actionable information. Embrapa is the Brazilian equivalent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Representatives from Cargill, General Mills, Land O'Lakes, Minnesota Corn Growers, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Soybean Growers, PepsiCo, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International attended.

The Labex-Flex-UMN partnership is a key part of a broader strategic move for CFANS, and will anchor, extend, and reimagine rapidly expanding local, national, and international public-private partnerships.

During the conference, Embrapa President Mauricio Antônio Lopes and CFANS leadership detailed how this endeavor will help farmers and food-system industries produce more food with fewer inputs while anticipating and adapting to agricultural production, climate and research realities worldwide.

During the launch of Labex-Flex-UMN, partnership leadership, CFANS, and other public and private partners gathered to learn more about the opportunities presented by the collaboration. Taking a moment to mark the connection with our Norman Borlaug legacy, (from left) Labex-Flex-UMN Facilitator Mateus Batistell; Embrapa President Mauricio Antônio Lopes; CFANS Dean Brian Buhr, Labex-US Coordinator Geraldo Bueno Martha, Jr.; Applied Economics Professor Phil Pardey; and Embrapa Atual Head for International Relations Secretariat Alexandre Amaral. Among those who gathered to herald the next phase of the initiative are Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson, and Plant Pathology Professor and Department Head Jim Bradeen.