Education is integral to food security. Whether we are feeding children so they can learn better, teaching people about nutrition and agriculture so they can feed themselves, educating tomorrow's researchers at our universities, or developing future leaders; GFSC is focusing on education and food security.
"A hungry child cannot learn" - Manjit Misra, April 2014, GFSC Spring Symposium
Studies show that hunger affects learning and development. This is true in all parts of the world. In the US, food-insecure children are often cognitively, emotionally, and physically behind their food-secure peers. One-fifth of the US households with children experienced food insecurity in 2011 (USDA). In many developing countries, food insecurity, poverty, and educational deprivation often create a cycle that cannot be escaped. Food security increases access to education which creates a vehicle out of poverty. It is essential to explore solutions that focus on tying education and food security together.
The Future of Food Security Research, Policy and Implementation
Iowa State University, and our partner institutions offer multiple programs, majors, and minors that can help feed the world in the future. Faculty, reseachers, and industry experts are needed in various disciplines from animal science, seed science, political science, agronomy, business, economics, engineering, natural resource management, and more. There are many opportunities for students studying in these disciplines to join in the efforts to feed the world.
An example of one of the programs available at Iowa State University is Global Resource Systems (GLOBE). Students choose a world region in which to specialize, develop competency in a relevant language, participate in a significant cross cultural living and working immersion experience in their chosen world region, and carry out a senior project related to their resource specialization withing the context of that world region.
There are also several online education opportunities available. For example, a graduate program in Plant Breeding that can be taken anywhere with an internet connection. Cathie Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education & Economics at the USDA mentioned in her address at the GFSC symposium in April 2014 that there was a worldwide shortage of plant breeders currently.
Online educaiton is an opportunity for people wishing to attend college but for various reasons are unable to move to campus. David Emery, pictured on the right, lives in Cambodia and works in community development. He is a graduate student in Community Development at Iowa State University. David enjoys having the opportunity to continue his education while living in Cambodia and continuing the work that he loves.