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USAID Fall Semester Highlights Food Security at U.S. Universities

During the months of September and October, USAID Administrator Shah traveled to eight universities around the United States to engage students on how to solve the most pressing global challenges in international development—poverty, hunger, violence, injustice, and environmental degradation.

The campus tour is part of USAID’s Fall Semester, a series of lectures, web-chats, and other activities that give students an opportunity to get involved in forging solutions to these critical challenges.

Prior to his appearance at Iowa State University with Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Shah also joined Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at Mississippi State University and Clemson University respectively to discuss food security and agriculture issues. Delivering remarks on September 10 at Mississippi State’s conference, “Technology Implementation at the Local Level: Food Security for the Future,” Shah highlighted the collaborative approach Feed the Future is taking to addressing global hunger. “Instead of pursuing top-down, institutionally driven approaches, we have to build a new model that opens traditional development to problem-solvers everywhere. [We are] including corporate firms like Citi and DuPont; communities of faith; and perhaps most importantly, our universities and colleges. Through Feed the Future…we’re bringing many of these partners together to help developing countries transform their agricultural sectors,” he said. Shah also toured Mississippi State’s emergency Food Product Development Lab and participated in a private sector roundtable.

On September 18, Shah joined Sen. Graham at Clemson University on a panel moderated by Clemson President James F. Barker. Both Shah and Graham emphasized the tremendous diplomatic and development work the United States accomplishes with the one percent of the federal budget that funds America’s foreign assistance programs. Shah also noted that science, technology, and innovation are critical to sustain U.S. aid efforts overseas, and that careers in agricultural research and development have the potential to save lives and feed communities. “Your technical skills are incredibly valuable,” he said.

Shah and Graham also visited Clemson’s Small Ruminant Animal Farm for a briefing on the university’s Afghanistan Agribusiness Development Team training program, which trains South Carolina Army National Guard units as extension agents to help farmers in Afghanistan with new agricultural techniques.

Learn more about USAID’s Fall Semester.

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