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California Tour Showcases Climate-Smart Agricultural Research

Updated: Nov 3, 2023


DAVIS, CALIF. (SEPT 11, 2023) – U.S. Congressman Ami Bera met today with agricultural scientists at the University of California, Davis, and leaders from Farm Journal Foundation for a tour of the university’s research facilities and a discussion about how agricultural innovations and climate-smart technology can support global food and nutrition security.


The tour included a demonstration of the university’s agrivoltaics research, which involves using farmland to simultaneously produce crops and solar energy, and a visit to the UC Davis beef cattle facilities to demonstrate methane emission reduction research. Participants in the event included Dr. Ermias Kebreab, Associate Dean of Global Engagement at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis; Dr. Majdi Abou Najm, Associate Professor in the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources at UC Davis; Brandon Minto, Director of Federal Government Relations at UC Davis; Katie Lee, Vice President of Government Affairs at Farm Journal Foundation; and Rose Tryon, a California farmer and Farmer Ambassador with Farm Journal Foundation.


“Thanks to the cutting-edge research being done by students and scientists at UC Davis, the Sacramento region is at the forefront of advancing eco-friendly and sustainable food sources,” said Representative Ami Bera, M.D. “Facing a future of increased extreme weather events caused by climate change and global disruptions to our supply chains, it’s imperative that we redouble our efforts to combat growing hunger and malnutrition. The innovative work being done at UC Davis underscores the critical role of science and research in ensuring food and nutrition security in the 21st century.”


Discussions about public support for agricultural research are particularly timely now, as Congress works to craft the next Farm Bill, and as farmers in California and around the world face increasingly volatile weather conditions caused by climate change. Global food systems are under enormous pressure due to climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war between Russia and Ukraine, which have contributed to a rapid increase in global hunger and malnutrition, according to the World Food Programme.


Ensuring that farmers have the tools to cope with these challenges will be vital to alleviating food insecurity and building more resilient food systems – and publicly funded agricultural research has an important role to play. While private sector research has a significant impact, the public sector often fills important gaps, such as early stage research to pave the way for long-term innovations. Public investment can also support comparatively under-explored areas such as animal health, environmental, and food safety research, and unlock innovations for smallholder farmers overseas, helping developing countries feed themselves.


“Agricultural research being conducted here in the U.S. benefits American farmers, as well as farmers in developing countries where hunger and malnutrition are unfortunately rising,” said Rose Tryon, a Farmer Ambassador with Farm Journal Foundation. “Farmers all over the world are coping with increasingly difficult weather and market conditions. We need to be able to access the latest innovations, to ensure that we can build sustainable livelihoods and continue to produce enough food to meet rising global demand.”


Agricultural research has one of the highest returns of any public investment, returning on average $20 in benefits for every $1 invested, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Innovations are particularly important to California, the largest agricultural producing state in the U.S. and the top producer of nutritious crops including fruits and vegetables.


 

Media Contact

Whitney McFerron, Farm Journal Foundation

 

About Farm Journal Foundation

Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to achieving global food security by sustaining modern agriculture’s leadership role and ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population. The organization works to advance this mission through key issue areas, including global food and nutrition security, agricultural research and innovation, rural development, and conservation and sustainability. To learn more, visit www.farmjournalfoundation.org.




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