Five faculty, students, and scholars in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) have been invited to attend the 2016 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, where the annual World Food Prize will be awarded on October 13th to four renowned researchers.
Representing Ohio State will be Dr. Thaddeus Ezeji, Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences; Sega Ndao, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Animal Sciences; Dr. Rafiq Islam, Research Scientist and Leader of the Soil and Bioenergy Program at OSU South Centers Research Station; Dr. Nataliia Didenko, Visiting Scholar at OSU South Centers; and Irene Kargbo, Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology.
All faculty and students/scholars will be attending through federally-funded programs administered by CFAES' Office of International Programs in Agriculture.
Ndao and Didenko will be attending as Fellows of the 2016 Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program – a distinguished program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service that supports 3 month research fellowships at a U.S. land grant university and seeks to strengthen ties between scientists in the U.S. and international partnering institutions. Both Ndao, who is a researcher with the Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute and advised by Dr. Ezeji, and Didenko, who serves as a researcher at the Institute of Water Problems and Land Reclamation in Ukraine and is advised by Dr. Islam, will be at Ohio State throughout the Autumn semester and are looking forward to attending the World Food Prize in order to further develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges surrounding global food security.
Kargbo, who is on leave from the Central Agricultural Research Institute in Monrovia, Liberia for her Ph.D Program at Ohio State, is a Fellow in the Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development (BHEARD) Program, and will be attending with other BHEARD fellows from a small, selected contingent.
At the symposium, whose theme this year is “Let Food Be Thy Medicine”, they will interact with researchers, policymakers, business leaders, humanitarians, and other food and agricultural experts working to improve food security in developing and middle income countries. The notion of improving human nutrition through breeding critical vitamins and micronutrients into staple crops will be especially pronounced, as biofortification innovation is the signature accomplishment of this year’s World Food Prize recipients from the International Potato Center (CIP) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
Held concurrently with the Borlaug Symposium is the Global Youth Institute – a forum designed for exceptional high school students from across the United States and other countries to present their findings and solutions to international experts and their peers, tour cutting-edge industrial and research facilities, and take part in symposium discussions with global leaders in science, industry, and policy. Sally McClaskey, 4-H Program Manager in Ohio State Extension and organizer of the Ohio Youth Institute, a subsidiary of the Global Youth Institute that is convened by CFAES, will be accompanying 11 Ohio high school students who participated in the Ohio Youth Institute at Ohio State University in March 2016.