Public and private research and development collaborations in agriculture, food, nutrition and natural resources are an important tool for meeting the challenge of feeding future generations.

Key elements of successful collaborations between federal agencies and partner organizations are the focus of the Agriculture, Food, Nutrition and Natural Resources R&D Round Table, to take place Tuesday, March 15 at the Abelson/Haskins Conference Room of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C.

"If the challenges of both national and global food security are to be met in the decades ahead, significant attention must be directed to research and development work that addresses agriculture, food, nutrition and natural resources issues," said Richard Ridgway, president of the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation.  He cites estimates by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that global food production will need to double by 2050 to feed a population of 9.2 billion people.  FAO also estimates 70% of that increased production will need to come from the creation and adoption of new technologies.

The Round Table is targeted to federal government agency officials who are involved in research related to agriculture, food, nutrition and natural resources with substantial involvement by universities, scientific societies, and various partners.  The Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation is organizing the event along with Farm Foundation, NFP, the Institute of Food Technologists, the Federation of Animal Science Societies, the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America and the Crop Science Society of America.

The Round Table program will highlight how society benefits from federal investments in agriculture-related research by USDA and other federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Interior, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy.

The keynote address will be given by Shere Abbott, associate director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President.  Lessons learned and opportunities for the future will be discussed by Cathie Woteki, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Extension.

Featured in the program will be case studies of selected collaborative research projects that have yielded significant impacts for taxpayers through benefits to agriculture, food, nutrition or natural resources.  The case studies to be presented will deal with the bovine genome, nutrition, food safety, pest control, crop production and water management, conservation, wildland restoration, and biofuels.

Collaborating with the organizing groups to present this program are USDA's Research, Education and Economics Mission Area, USDA Forest Service and USDA's National Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Economics Advisory Board.

Meeting space is limited and attendance is on a first-come, first-serve basis.  There is no fee to attend but registration is required.  The deadline to register is noon Friday, March 11.  Click here to register online, or go to the Farm Foundation Web page, www.farmfoundation.org

The Round Table will be webcast. To register for the webcast visit http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/farmfoundation/110315/