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Florida Event Shows How Agricultural Research Supports Global Food Security and Nutrition

GAINESVILLE, FLA. (Nov. 28, 2022) – U.S.

Congresswoman Kat Cammack met with agricultural scientists at the University of Florida and leaders from Farm Journal Foundation to discuss how public support for agricultural research and development (R&D) can help alleviate global hunger and malnutrition.

The Nov. 28 event, which included a tour of agricultural research facilities at the university and a roundtable discussion, highlighted how innovations can strengthen global food supply chains, prevent animal disease outbreaks, and enable farmers to increase production with fewer resources. Today, the global food system is under significant pressure from challenges including the conflict in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and extreme weather events. However, new technologies or practices generated from agricultural R&D can help make food systems more resilient, driving efforts to increase production of healthy foods, preserve natural resources, and enable farmers to adapt to different weather patterns.

“Food security is national security, which is why it’s so important to work together in support of necessary sustainable and innovative solutions to the problems our food supply chains face. Our farmers, ranchers, and producers work tirelessly to feed our nation and the world, and I’m grateful to the University of Florida and its Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) for their critical investments into research and development on these fronts,” said Congresswoman Kat Cammack. “We’re always looking for better ways to best support the folks who feed, clothe, and fuel our country, and I’m grateful to the Farm Journal Foundation and the University of Florida for making today’s event possible.”

Participants at the event included Congresswoman Kat Cammack; Dr. Scott Angle, UF/IFAS Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources; Dr. Geoff Dahl, UF/IFAS Professor of Animal Sciences; Saskia Hendrickx, UF/IFAS Feed The Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems; Katie Lee, Farm Journal Foundation’s Vice President of Government Affairs; Renee Strickland, a livestock producer and exporter from Myakka City, Florida, and a Farmer Ambassador with Farm Journal Foundation; Jaime Jerrels, Director of Agricultural Policy at Florida Farm Bureau; and Mary Ann Hooks, Director of Government Relations for UF/IFAS.

At the event, participants learned about the work being done at the university’s Feed The Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, which supports a range of research projects to increase the productivity and resilience of livestock farms in developing countries. Participants also toured the IFAS Beef Teaching Unit, which includes a 90-acre farm with a 200-head capacity feedyard and 40-head cow/calf operation, providing students with hands-on experience working with different cattle breeds and different stages of production.

Investing in agricultural R&D is increasingly important, as global hunger and malnutrition are at critical levels, and food insecurity remains a serious challenge throughout the U.S. Food and agriculture are important industries for Florida’s economy, contributing over $360 billion in economic impact on the state and over 2 million jobs, according to the Florida Farm Bureau.

“UF/IFAS continues to innovate the way to increase food production globally with less environmental impact. That challenge is getting steeper, but so is the UF/IFAS commitment with the recent launch of our Global Food Systems Institute and our historic investment in artificial intelligence to revolutionize agriculture,” said Scott Angle, UF’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of UF/IFAS. “Our solutions to the challenges of producing food in a subtropical/tropical climate make our science directly applicable in large regions of the world that face food insecurity. At the same time, what we learn abroad helps Florida farmers and ranchers,” he said.

Agricultural research has one of the highest returns of any public investment, returning on average $20 in benefits for every $1 invested. Agricultural research undertaken in the public sector, such as that being conducted at the University of Florida, has an important role to play in strengthening global food security. While private sector research investments have had a significant impact, particularly on yields for large commodity crops such as corn and soybeans, the public sector can support early stage research to pave the way for significant 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 investments are absolutely vital, especially as we look toward a future with rising global food demand – including demand for nutritious animal-sourced foods – and increasing pressure on natural resources,” said Katie Lee, Vice President of Government Affairs at Farm Journal Foundation. “Agricultural innovations benefit farmers and consumers both in the U.S. and abroad, helping to sustainably increase production and ensure that there will continue to be enough safe, affordable, and nutritious food for everyone.”


Media Contact

Whitney McFerron, Communications Director

Farm Journal Foundation


About Farm Journal Foundation

Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit 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 security, agricultural research and development, nutrition, and conservation agriculture. To learn more, visit


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