Baenziger to Speak to Food Security and the Future of Agriculture - UNL CropWatch, Oct. 20, 2011

Baenziger to Speak to Food Security and the Future of Agriculture - UNL CropWatch, Oct. 20, 2011

Oct. 20, 2011

2nd Heuermann Lecture Nov. 10 in Lincoln

UNL small grains breeder Dr. P. Stephen Baenziger will deliver the second Heuermann Lecture — "Setting the Stage: Why Agriculture" — on Nov. 10 in Lincoln. His presentation will be at 4 p.m. in the UNL East Campus Nebraska Union.

P. Stephen Baenziger

P. Stephen Baenziger

"Agriculture has gone from being a nearly forgotten, taken-for-granted field to one of critical importance nationally and globally," said Baenziger, who University of Nebraska President James. B. Milliken named the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award, NU's top award for research. Baenziger is the first UNL scientist to hold the Nebraska Wheat Growers Presidential Chair, an endowed professorship through a licensing agreement between NUtech Ventures and Bayer CropScience.

"The Green Revolution gave us 40 years of food surpluses, but we've used up those surpluses and once again live in a period of rising food prices and food scarcity," Baenziger said. "Agriculture is vital both to Nebraska and the world. In 'Setting the Stage: Why Agriculture,' I'll look at where we've been, where we are, and a direction for the future."

IANR's new Heuermann Lectures focus on the world's growing food needs. Open to the public, they are made possible through a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips, long-time university supporters with a strong commitment to Nebraska's production agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities.

Baenziger joined UNL in 1986 and has been working ever since to help Nebraska wheat growers improve their crops and help feed the world.

In the last five years he has released six new wheat cultivars. He is quick to note the work of those who have gone before him and those he works with now who are key in accounting for the Nebraska-developed cultivars grown on 65% of Nebraska's wheat acres.

Recognized internationally for his work, Baenziger is one of only two Americans serving on the board of trustees of the prestigious International Rice Research Institute. The Institute's Director General is the other.

University of Nebraska President James. B. Milliken has named Baenziger the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award, NU's top award for research.

"Food, and how we produce food, and if there is enough food to keep the world's population free from threat of hunger and starvation, affect all of us," said Ronnie Green, IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor who serves as moderator for the Heuermann Lectures.

"We need to find ways to sustain our natural resources as we produce food to feed the world and provide renewable energy, even as we contemplate climate change's effect on crop production," Green continued. "Steve Baenziger is a thoughtful, internationally respected scientist who has both research and insight to provide well-reasoned and compelling answers to the question, 'why agriculture'."

Among Baenziger's awards and honors are being an honoree in the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement, and being the recipient of the Nebraska Agribusiness Club Public Service Award, the Crop Science Society of America Crop Science Research Award, and the American Society of Agronomy Agronomic Achievement Award -- Crops.

A 3:30 p.m. reception precedes the lecture.

Judy Nelson
IANR Communications Specialist