Posts Tagged: Linda Katehi
The new World Food Center at UC Davis will take on a broad purview related to food, including sustainable agricultural and environmental practices, food security and safety, hunger, poverty reduction through improved incomes, health and nutrition, population growth, new foods, genomics, food distribution systems, food waste, intellectual property distribution related to food, economic development and new technologies and policies.
With rapid global population growth occurring on smaller amounts of arable land, coupled with the expected impacts of climate change on food production, understanding the sustainability of food into the future is critical.
The new center’s website notes, “The World Food Center at UC Davis takes a ‘big picture’ approach to sustainably solving humanity’s most pressing problems in food and health. By bringing together world-class scientists with innovators, philanthropists and industry and public leaders, the center will generate the kind of visionary knowledge and practical policy solutions that will feed and nurture people for decades to come.”
In establishing the World Food Center, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said, “We did this to fully capitalize on our depth and expertise as the world’s leading university for education, research and scholarship on all aspects of food, but especially the nexus between food and health.”
UC Davis is the top-ranked agricultural university in the world, and California is the major producer of vegetables and fruit in the nation. Tom Tomich, director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute and professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis, says of the World Food Center’s location at UC Davis, “There’s no place else that has the right mix of educational programs, research facilities, and the engagement with the state.”
The major academic disciplines surrounding food are found at UC Davis — agriculture, the environment, medicine, veterinary medicine, engineering, social and cultural sciences, and management. More than 30 centers and institutes at UC Davis will be pulled together through the World Food Center. The combination of scholarship, leadership, and partnerships at UC Davis has already established the campus as a center for food-related science and outreach. This new center will reinforce that strength and broaden the university’s ability to tackle tough global issues related to food.
Although the founding director of the center has yet to be named, Josette Lewis, Ph.D., was recently appointed as the associate director of the World Food Center. Her background on international research and development for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and director of its Office of Agriculture, honed her skills to take on the World Food Center. It was at US AID that she worked on a major global hunger and food security initiative, establishing her expertise on issues related to global agricultural development and food security.
As the new World Food Center becomes fully developed, it will be well-positioned on campus to continue to solve the major global issues related to food that are a hallmark of UC Davis.
- World Food Center website
- UC Davis video on the World Food Center
- Key facts
- UC Davis Dateline article
- Sacramento Bee article
The Fresno Bee today published an op-ed piece by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi in which she gave examples of how UC Davis research has revolutionized the growing, harvesting and processing of agricultural crops in the San Joaquin Valley.
The article was prompted by Katehi's recent two-day tour of the valley with the dean of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Neal Van Alfen. The administrators met with farmers, business leaders, policy makers, researchers and alumni of UC Davis.
"The San Joaquin Valley, one of the most significant farm production regions in the world, has a history that has been intertwined with UC Davis for generations," Katehi wrote.
She mentioned the following agricultural advances connected with UC Davis research:
- Tomato varieties and the mechanical harvest equipment that allows the tomato industry to thrive in California and prevented its move to other parts of the world
- Preventing the deterioration of the predominant almond variety planted in the valley
- Work with strawberries that has increased California production from three to four months a year to a year-round crop
Katehi asked valley residents to send a message to Sacramento lawmakers who are trying to agree on the state's 2011-12 budget about the importance of UC Davis to the state's heartland.
"The San Joaquin Valley is too important to California, the nation and the world to not be heard from," Katehi said.
Linda Katehi, left, and Neal Van Alfen visited ag and business leaders in the valley.
An editorial that ran over the weekend in the Bakersfield Californian declared that cuts to the budget of California's public higher education institutions will hurt the state's farmers.
The editorial was prompted by a visit to Bakersfield last Friday by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi and UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences dean Neal Van Alfen.
Robert Price, editorial page editor, wrote that the Legislature's "complete and utter failure to act on behalf of higher education is likely to smack everybody else right between the eyes" - including agriculture. He noted in the story that many jobs in agriculture are low-paying, but that many others pay quite well.
"That earned wealth is a significant economic driver," Price wrote. "That wealth, derived from global competitiveness, rides on the back of research -- research carried out by institutions like UC Davis."
Van Alfen explained in the article how UC research has helped the Central Valley stay ahead of the global competitive curve, using the dairy industry as an example.
"So how do you take a low-cost product like milk and get added value out of it, particularly from the waste stream?" Van Alfen was quoted. "We're working on things like whey, a byproduct of cheese making. It used to be dumped and now it's becoming, through research, something of value. We're finding that there are some special chemicals in whey that have even greater value than just as a raw protein."
Linda Katehi and Neal Van Alfen toured the San Joaquin Valley.