Agriculture News

May 21, 2018

International graduate students to gather at Purdue for Borlaug Summer Institute to address global food security

Borlaugh Institute Graduate students from 22 universities across the world are expected to participate in the 2018 Borlaug Institute on Global Food Security, June 3-16 at Purdue University. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo by Tom Campbell) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Graduate students from 22 universities across the world are expected to participate in the 2018 Borlaug Institute on Global Food Security, June 3-16 at Purdue University.

Participants are selected based on their demonstrated interest and commitment to finding solutions to world hunger, and have chosen dissertation research that addresses the challenges of global food security.

“The goal of the summer institute is to provide participants with a more holistic understanding of the conceptual challenges around global food security, with a focus on cross-disciplinary approaches in addressing major global development challenges,” said Gebisa Ejeta, director of the Purdue Center for Global Food Security, based at Purdue’s Discovery Park.

Ejeta, distinguished professor of agronomy and 2009 World Food Prize laureate, will join other Purdue faculty working with students throughout the two-week period of the institute. They include: Jay Akridge, Purdue University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity; Karen Plaut, Glenn W. Sample Dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture; Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships; and Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, chief scientist and executive director of Discovery Park.

Other speakers include:

* Shenggen Fen, director general, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

* Jimmy Smith, director general, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

* Rob Bertram, chief scientist, USAID Bureau for Food Security.

* Julie Borlaug, vice president for communications and public relations, Inari Agriculture Inc., and granddaughter of the late Norman Borlaug, an agronomist and humanitarian for whom the institute is named.

* Clara Cohen, USAID Bureau for Food Security Office of Agricultural Research and Policy.

* Donn Cummings, Purdue alumnus and global breeder sourcing lead, Monsanto (retired). 

The institute is hosted by the Center for Global Food Security and engages students through lectures by prominent faculty and guest speakers, practicums, small-group research work, and visits to area farms and research infrastructures at Purdue and throughout the region.

The 2018 participants include 15 students from Nepal, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Guatemala, Kenya, Niger, Senegal, and Sri Lanka in addition to 25 U.S. students. Their collective academic disciplines range from agronomy, plant pathology, human nutrition, to agricultural and biological engineering, economics and other social science areas such as conflict resolution.

Students will develop country-specific food security group-project reports in response to a simulated request for proposals from the United States Agency for International Development. Purdue professors with experience in international development will simulate a donor panel on the last day, challenging students to defend their proposals.

The summer institute is part of the U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security program, funded by USAID under the Feed the Future initiative. The program is aimed at preparing the next generation of U.S. food security professionals with the scientific foundation needed to effectively study and manage the global landscape in support of sustainable food systems.

More information about the institute is available at

Writer: Pamela McClure, 765-494-5441, 

Media Contact: Darrin Pack, 765-494-2722, 

Source: Gebisa Ejeta, 765-494-4320,

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Darrin Pack, Manager/Media Relations and Public Information,  
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