Food day

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World Food Day event

Des Moines

15-17 October Leads: Shirley

Download the Program


Tasks Who Status
Find out more information on the opportunity to register etc Shirley to check with Jimmy Shirley in touch with organizers.

World Food Day people are helpful and excited ILRI wants to participate.
This year is Borlaug 100 anniversary: WFD will organize events/activities to reflect his legacy in three areas: Innovation, intensification, inspiration
They’d like to invite Jimmy to be in a panel as part of the core symposium. Topic likely to be on insurance.
Plan details of the ILRI event:
Proposal from Peter, Susan, Shirley. John to approve content

ILRI 1.5hrs slot targeting 150 people confirmed for afternoon of Thursday October 16th.

We’re asking for a ‘public’ event, so promotion of our side event is included in WFD materials and packages.

Group to organize World Food Day:
- Purvi, Tom, Shirley, Susan, Peter, Suzanne Peterson
- Tony happy to be roped in
- Perhaps John McIntire to attend as well?
- Suzanne (and several others) will be in Canada the week before this event and could easily travel down to participate.

Suggested topic and speakers/panel members: Livestock matters for food security (see Purvi journal above).
- Emmy Simmons, Chris Delgado, Simeon Ehui,
- Also follow up with Purvi on the food security series.
- Suggest that Tony is added to this team. Tony says we can call on him contribute as needed, but not come to all meetings
- David Nabarro not available as a keynote speaker but may be able to attend Addis main event in November. Shirley to follow up
Nadine Request past ILRI hosted World Food interns to attend and share their experience at ILRI and how it influenced career path etc.

Contributions from ILRI - WFP Interns

Gary Sullivan - 2001

Internship dates: June to July 2001. My project was under the supervision of Dr. Jean Hansen in the Forage Genetic Resources and titled Forages: Looking at the potential and pathways toward adoption in the Ethiopian Farming Systems. This project followed farmers that were previously given forage seeds and looked into how they were used and what impediments to adoption occurred.

Following my internship, I attained Iowa State University (B.S. in Animal Science and International Agriculture & Ph.D. in Meat Science and Food Science and Technology) and University of Nebraska-Lincoln (M.S. in Animal Science). Upon graduation, I accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Science at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My program includes teaching and research of processed meats focusing on livestock production impacts and ingredient and processing technologies to improve the quality, shelf life, and safety of processed meat products.

Through my internship at ILRI, I had an expanded understanding of the world and broadened the scope of my own capabilities. The experiences I gained through my internship allowed me to dream bigger and go further than I would have otherwise.

Through my research in meat processing, I plan to continue investigating technologies to better utilize meat (raw materials) and increase the quality and shelf life of meat products and train students to be the next meat scientists.

Shawn Thomas - 2002

I spent the summer of 2002 (June to August) at ILRI, both in Addis Ababa and at the satellite facility in Debre Zeyit. While there I worked with the Ada'a Liben Woreda Dairy Cooperative in Debre Zeyit, taking an intensive survey of the cooperative members. My survey involved looking at daily milk production, but also looking at the members themselves (gender, education level, number of dependents, herd size, distance from the co-op, etc). The data compiled demonstrated the gender inequality in education and earning, something that exists all over the world, including in the United States, but is magnified in developing countries.

After my time in Ethiopia, I moved on to undergraduate school. Thanks to my time at ILRI and other experiences, I developed an interest in veterinary medicine. After attending veterinary school at Iowa State University, I now practice medicine at a veterinary clinic outside of Seattle, WA where I live with my wife and 2 year old son. In the future, I hope to continue my love of animal husbandry and veterinary medicine, including eventual ownership of a veterinary practice. I also hope to return to Africa again, this time with my family.

Abbey Canon – 2004 Post-Doctoral Research Associate Swine Medicine Education Center Iowa State University

I worked in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2004

My project at ILRI focused on human nutrition, red meat and poultry production and consumption in Ethiopia, and distribution in Addis Ababa. Although critical to most diets, access to animal source foods was limited. In fact, I was able to complete a similar project, focusing on animals source foods in the diets of children, in Ghana the following summer. My extraordinary Ethiopian "mother," Tigist Mamo, welcomed me into her family and was happy to share her country. During a brief trip to a national park, Tigist directed me into a rural homestead. As she stood in the dim, damp dwelling, holding one of the smallest residents on her hip, she pointed and explained that the one and only room made from sticks, dried manure, and mud was home to not only a large family, but also to their young chicken flock that scattered across the dirt floor. Looking past the crowded room, I saw the dependency of the family on their chicken flock. Between my project and personal experiences in Ethiopia, I became intensely aware of the intricate health relationship between humans and animals in developing countries.

After my internship, I obtained my Bachelor of Science, a Master of Public Health, and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. I just finished a two year assignment as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As an EISO and Lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service, I conducted epidemiologic investigations and responded to public health threats, including an E. coli outbreak from raw ground beef consumption and a multidrug resistant tuberculosis outbreak in Wisconsin. Currently, I am a post-doctoral research associate with the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. I am also pursuing a PhD in veterinary microbiology and preventative medicine.

Although international issues had always interested me, it took my World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan Internship at ILRI in Ethiopia to direct and refine my interests into an academic path and eventual career in veterinary public health. This unique internship early in my academic career introduced me to and enhanced my interest in the links between healthy animals, healthy food, and healthy people.

I love teaching, which I credit to fantastic mentorship during all my journeys. Mentors from academia and internships helped me gain additional experiences above and beyond what was required of normal coursework. I would like to remain in an academic position or educational setting, where I hope to provide similar enhanced learning opportunities to my students. In the upcoming years, I hope to integrate public health into clinical and academic practice in swine health. The strong link between human and animal health and disease provides endless opportunities, and the challenges the human and animal health industries face simultaneously are always evolving.

Trisha Collins – 2010

I was an intern at ILRI in 2010 from the end of May until the end of July. I worked with Dr. Jean Hansen in the Forage Diversity Lab on a project involving identifying an alternative for Napier grass as it was suffering from smut and stunt. I analyzed the nutritional content and yield data for nine alternative tropical grasses and then identified if farmers would utilize any alternatives.

I learned that even if there were a grass that had a higher nutritional quality, because yield was the #1 trait farmers looked at, farmers would not utilize the forage seed alternatives. It was also found only one grass variety was higher ranking, an no grass came close in yield. It was an eye opening experience to see another country right out of high school, especially to be in Eastern Africa during the 2010 World Cup!

I have always wanted to be a veterinarian, and being at ILRI confirmed my interest in Animal Health. I saw research opportunities available in my future career path and a country/region where there is a strong demand for animal products and a lot of opportunity for the industry in the future! Being there showed me differences and similarities between the U.S. and Ethiopia, and gave me a passion for animal agriculture I have continued to embrace to this day.

This spring, I graduated from Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with a double major in Animal Science and International Agriculture. I am currently a first year vet student at Iowa State, with future plans to travel back to Ethiopia/Africa for a fellowship or internship upon graduation. I have such a passion for working internationally that started that summer in Ethiopia, and I cannot wait to continue traveling in my career in the future.

I hope to become a large animal veterinarian specializing in beef cattle and/or small ruminant research or teaching.

Sarah Marketon - 2011 Agricultural Education Undergraduate University of Minnesota

The dates of my internship were May 2011-July 2011. While I was interning with ILRI, I worked on two different projects. One was identifying chicken diseases in village poultry and working to eliminate those illnesses for healthier birds. The second project was working with rural farmers to implement a breeding program with sheep and teach them about selection of breeding animals. Selecting breeding animals is very important to improving the genetics of sheep raised in Ethiopia so there are more high quality animals for meat, wool, milk, etc.

Currently, I am a junior at the University of Minnesota where I am majoring in agricultural education - leadership and communications. I have done a lot of work with Minnesota Pork Board on consumer outreach efforts to engage people in conversations about farming and where their food comes from.

My experience at ILRI reinforced the importance of agriculture around the world. In the United States, many people are so far removed from the farm they often do not completely understand why certain practices are used. In Ethiopia, I saw how important agriculture was to thousands of people just so they could have a meal. Seeing this stark contrast pushed me to continue my consumer outreach efforts and continue working to improve agricultural literacy.

In the future, I see myself working for an agricultural commodity group in a communications/marketing role. I would like to help farmers tell their story to consumers who want to know more about where their food comes from.

Sarah Warren – 2013

During my time at ILRI last summer, I worked with the Food Safety and Zoonoses unit under the Safe Food, Fair Food project. My advisor was Dr. Barbara Szonyi and with her I spent a lot of time researching Abergelle goats, and specifically the value chain surrounding these goats. I come from a goat farm back home in Kentucky, so I was familiar with the species; however, Abergelle goats were a new breed to me, something I hadn’t dealt with in America. While working on this project I learned all about the various collection methods involved in a milk sample analysis, as well as gained some new perspectives from these farmers. I learned how important livestock (specifically dairy goats) and milk are to the rural Ethiopians.

Upon arriving home from ILRI, I was eager to tell everyone about this beautiful culture and all of the new things I had learned, socially and agriculturally. I gave presentations about ILRI and my project to the school board and various community organizations around my town. I also used my new-found knowledge to compete in the Agriscience Research – Animal Systems division with the National FFA Organization; I will therefore be taking my ILRI project to the nationally competitive level at the end of October 2014.

Currently, I am a first-year student at the University of Kentucky, majoring in Animal Science on the pre-professional track to vet school – for now. J I still spend a lot of my time at home working on our small family farm with my goats and other animals. While here at UK, I have joined the professional agricultural women’s sorority, Sigma Alpha, as well as the UK Shotgun team. Most relevant to my internship, however, is the job that I now currently have. I worked from the time I got back to America until I started college as a receptionist and lab assistant at a small environmental firm called Hall Environmental Consultants; when I got to college, however, an even more exciting opportunity came up.

Today I work for the Animal Science Department here at the University of Kentucky as an assistant to Dr. Don Ely and his graduate student, Lauren Wood, for the Sheep Unit. As their assistant, I spend my time both in the laboratory and out on UK’s research farm. I collect and separate pasture samples, prepare and read fecal samples, and generally assist in sheep research.This is a bit different than the goats I’m used to, however it’s very similar and I am enjoying it immensely. Currently, we are working on aproject to increase the nutrient intake of two different sheep breeds to determine if we can increase their growth and, subsequently, production. My time at ILRI allowed me to become more comfortable in the research field and taught me how to apply my animal science knowledge in a more productive way. Being an ILRI intern further committed me to my lifelong passion of working with livestock to improve our lives, as I am now pursuing an animal science degree. Moving forward, I would like to focus more in on policy and regulation, perhaps in diagnosing and treating illnesses that are common in our livestock food species. I would have never even known that such fields existed had I not been to ILRI. In the future, I would love to visit more countries and learn even more about the livestock/agricultural systems around the world and how they are helping to sustain the world’s populations.

Millicent Varley - 2014

I was an intern at ILRI from June 1- July 29, 2014. I worked with Dr. Jean Hanson and many others in the forage diversity department at Addis Ababa and learned about forage legumes, grasses, and regeneration. My project focused on researching Trifolium ambiguum and Indigofera wightii to determime why they weren't producing seeds. I learned about the importance of forage, practical chemistry skills, and how to create and conduct a survey.

This fall I'm heading to Macalester College in St. Paul to study environmental science.

My time at ILRI made me more positive of the direction I'd like to go as I choose my career. It's given me a window to a different life, and for that I am very grateful.

I'm not sure what I'll end up doing, but I know it will be in the fight for food security. I hope that I can find the field in which I can contribute most.

Kayla Toennies - 2014

I worked at ILRI from 1 June 2014 to 29 July 2014. The majority of my work was in the Forage Diversity building in the Genebank on the ILRI campus. Specifically, my project consisted of working with three specific forages. Dr. Jean Hanson assigned me one plant growing in the greenhouse on campus that is neither flowering nor producing seeds, and my job was to do some literature work and tests to try to figure out why this was and come up with solutions. This plant was Onobrychis arenaria, and it has been growing in the greenhouse for over five years. I was also assigned two plants growing in the Seed Production Sites in both Zwai and Soddo that are flowering, but not producing seeds. My job was to also do literature work on these, perform tests, and formulate a solution for these plants as well. Both of these plants were of the Canavalia species, but the species for both of them are unknown.

Through all of the tests I performed and the literature work I did, I learned so much from this internship. For the Canavalia sp. growing in Zwai, I was able to find a solution! It has been growing in the plot in Zwai for over 10 years now, and it has never produced any seeds until now. During one of my visits there, I had the opportunity to hand pollinate some flowers on the inflorescence, and a few weeks later I came back to check on it and found two seed pods had been produced! That was so exciting to see! I never thought I was capable of doing that. I taught one of the workers at Zwai how I hand pollinated the flowers so he could continue doing that in order to try to produce more seed pods. Also, I had never really worked with chemicals before, so performing all of the tests I did on the pollen was a new experience for me. It was very difficult to catch on to making the chemicals at first, but after some time, I was able to understand how to do it.

This whole internship has been an amazing experience for me. Everyone I was around was so open and friendly to me. I felt welcome from the day I got here. It was very amazing to be able to work with professionals and have an important job myself. All of the people I talked to seemed sincerely interested in what work I was doing, so it really made me feel at home during my time here. I had never been out of the United States until this internship, and I couldn’t have had a better experience.

I am in my senior year at Belle Plaine High School. I live on a small acreage in the town of Chelsea, Iowa, but I go to school in Belle Plaine. In my spare time, I like to work in my garden, take care of my animals and livestock, swim in my pond, fish, and walk through the timber near my house. Throughout my high school career, I have made sure to be very involved in the school. In doing so, the sports I do are cross country, football cheerleading, basketball, and track. I am involved in many other activities in my school such as FFA, National Honor Society, Speech/Drama, Student Council, Band, Chorus, Win with Wellness, and many others. Within my sports and activities, I hold many leadership positions. I am captain for both my cross country and football cheerleading teams, President of my FFA chapter, and Vice President of the student body. Outside of school, I teach Preschool/Kindergarten Religious Education at my church and am involved with my church’s youth group.

My experience at ILRI definitely impacted my career choice. For my whole life I have always wanted to hold a job dealing with livestock. During this internship I was able to work with livestock indirectly. I was working with the forages. Livestock eat forages, so this made me think about going to Iowa State University for animal science and focus mainly on animal nutrition. This has definitely made me want to hold a career dealing with agriculture. My experience at ILRI really opened my eyes to how important agriculture is to the world, and I want to take a part in this field of work.

While I was at ILRI, I received the opportunity to talk to a professor from Ohio State University while he was at a workshop at ILRI and he told me he knew a few professors from Iowa State University who teach animal science and pre veterinary classes and could get me in contact with them. This internship has really opened up many doors for me, and I cannot wait to continue working towards my future and see how far I can go. I have so many people to thank for this amazing experience.

During the summer, I applied to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and was accepted. I plan on majoring in animal science. I am still deciding whether or not to go further with this and enter the Pre Veterinarian program at Iowa State. I also plan on minoring in either agronomy or horticulture. During my time in college, I also plan on studying abroad for a semester or so. Ever since returning from my Borlaug-Ruan Internship to ILRI, I definitely want to travel to another country to study. Just this one trip has opened my eyes and altered my views; I can’t imagine what another trip to a different country would do! In my future, I see myself working in a career dealing with livestock nutrition, and possibly in the veterinarian field. This is my goal of my life, and I will strive to make it there.