NATIONAL 4-H COUNCIL HOSTS SECOND STEM FOOD AND AG COUNCIL MEETING
February 21, 2014, Washington, D.C. | STEMconnector®’s STEM Food & Ag Council (SFAC) held its second meeting on Friday at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The meeting focused on leveraging the national enthusiasm for STEM disciplines into educational opportunities and career pathways in food and agriculture, and scaling up STEM initiatives for youth. The meeting is partially underwritten by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Council Chair, and the Council’s Vice Chair Paul Schickler, President of DuPont Pioneer, were in attendance along with committee members from industry, education and government. The STEM Food & Ag Council is guided by its mission to “inspire, nurture and engage individuals to passionately pursue careers in Food and Agriculture by unlocking their full potential as leaders and professionals.” Its systemic approach brings together diverse stakeholders from the food and agriculture workforce to bring innovation to human capital development.
“I am committed to this initiative because there is no question that a qualified STEM workforce is an essential ingredient in feeding the additional 2 billion people that will occupy our planet by 2050,” said Lt. Governor Reynolds. “The only way for us to meet the nutritional demands of a growing population is to address STEM workforce issues with the key players from industry, government and education.”
“It is critical that we engage young people in the incredible career opportunities within food and agriculture,” said Schickler. “We are committed to the STEM Food & Ag Council because it provides the opportunity for us to collaborate on this important challenge of activating the next generation of leaders to feed the world.”
The meeting featured presentations and breakout sessions with a clear focus on impact-rich initiatives. Council members discussed the future of the Council and how to further engage stakeholders around the idea of including food and agriculture in STEM.
“National 4-H Council is pleased to host this meeting at our Youth Conference Center,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, President and Chief Executive Officer of National 4-H Council. “4-H is committed to positive youth development and we have deep commitments to both food security and to STEM education. The STEM Food and Ag Council brings together these priorities and allows us to identify new partners for this exciting work.”
Member organizations of the STEM Food and Ag Council include Archer Daniels Midland Corporation, Agriculture Future of America, Beck’s Hybrids, Des Moines Area Community College, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer, the Institute of Food Technologists, Monsanto, the National FFA Organization, Iowa State University, Land O’Lakes, PepsiCo and the University of Florida.
The next meeting of the STEM Food & Ag Council is scheduled to take place July 16, 2014 in St. Louis and will be hosted by Monsanto. The final meeting of 2014 will be held in Des Moines in conjunction with the World Food Prize in Iowa.
STEMconnector® is the leading communications platform driving collaboration between stakeholders in STEM education. Launched in 2011 with the mandate of identifying, informing and connecting stakeholders in STEM education, STEMconnector® has over 90 sponsoring organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors.
About STEM Food & Ag Council
The STEM Food & Ag Council is a unique public-private partnership dedicated to driving education and career opportunities for the next generation of the food and agricultural workforce. The STEM Food & Ag Council assembles government, business and education leaders aimed at increasing collaboration and mobilizing resources to connect today’s youth to the Food and Ag careers of tomorrow.