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In Des Moines for the World Food Prize? Join the special BMGF-ILRI livestock roundtable this evening, 15 Oct


Felix Vallotton, Meat and Eggs, 1918 (photo on Wikiart).

If you’re in Des Moines, Iowa, this week for the World Food Prize (16 Oct 2014) and Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium (15–17 Oct 2014), please join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) this evening (Wed, 15 Oct), at 7:30 pm (19:30 CTZ), for a lively roundtable discussion on Livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security.

Jimmy Smith

Pamela Andrson

You will be warmly welcomed by ILRI’s director general, Jimmy Smith, and assistant director general, Shirley Tarawali, and by Pamela Anderson, director for agricultural development at the BMGF, and Sam Thevasagayam, who leads the livestock initiative within that foundation’s agricultural development department.

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda

Starting at 8:00 pm (20:00), welcome remarks will be made by Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, chair of ILRI’s board of trustees and chief executive officer and head of diplomatic mission of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), based in South Africa.

Bill Gates - Interview

Guests will then hear from Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in a short video message made for this occasion. Gates explains why he and his foundation see livestock farming as central to sustainable development, particularly for better nutrition for women and children, and are investing in the global livestock-for-development agenda (photo on Flickr by Henry Ford’s ‘OnInnovation project).

Chris Delgado

This will be followed by a keynote speech delivered by Chris Delgado on ‘The transformative role of livestock in sustainable food systems in the developing world’. Delgado is a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, in Washington, DC, and previously served as a senior livestock scientist, leader and advisor for the World Bank, ILRI and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He is responsible for first introducing the concept of ‘the Livestock Revolution’ to the public in 1999 as lead author of the publication titled Livestock to 2020: The Next Food Revolution.

ILRI’s Jimmy Smith will then moderate a discussion among the following five distinguished panel members.

Rob Bertram

  • Rob Bertram, who trained as a plant breeder and geneticist, is chief scientist for the Bureau for Food Security in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Mitch Davis, director of Global Shared Value at Elanco

  • Mitch Davis, a specialist on the impacts of business on social issues, is director of Global Shared Value and Corporate Social Responsibility for Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, in the USA

James Kasongo, country director for Heifer in Zambia

  • James Kasongo, an agriculturist, is country director for Heifer International in Zambia

Mark Poeschl, vice-president for Cargill Premix and Nutrition

  • Mark Poeschl, agriculturist, is vice-president for Cargill Premix and Nutrition, in the USA

Florence Wambugu, founder, director and CEO of of Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International

  • Florence Wambugu, a plant virologist, is the founder, director and chief executive officer of Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International (AHBFI), in Kenya

After this 45-minute discussion, ILRI will share a few results of conversations held in several special meetings ILRI has recently hosted with partners, farmer clients and other stakeholders to mark ILRI’s 40-year anniversary this year.

Starting in 1999 and every year after that, ILRI has been privileged to host World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan interns at its campuses in Kenya and Ethiopia. A total of 18 Borlaug-Ruan high school interns have each spent 8 weeks working on original research projects with ILRI’s international scientists while getting a firsthand view of pressing food, nutritional, health and economic issues facing communities in these developing countries. We’re happy to report that two of these interns will participate in our event tonight and will say a few words about what this early ‘livestock development induction’ work meant to them. Read here about all 18 interns at ILRI.

ILRI board member Suzanne Petersen in India

Finally, Suzanne Petersen, an animal nutritionist who serves on ILRI’s board of trustees and is brand marketing manager for Land O’Lakes Purina Feed, will make a few remarks to close the evening.

So please join us tonight if you are in Des Moines today and are interested in the future of animal agriculture in developing countries. (Hint: It’s a big future.) You can register for the ILRI-BMGF Wed evening roundtable session here.

Watch this space for a report on the event that we’ll post tomorrow (Thu 16 Oct 2014).

And if you’d like to provide inputs into ILRI’s livestock research priorities, give us your views on the following two big questions. Please provide these in the comment box below; we’ll compile responses and post them here in November, after the last event ILRI is holding to mark its 40-year anniversary.

  • Looking to 2054, what are the two most critical livestock-related challenges we must answer through research?
  • What is the most promising ‘best bet’ opportunity we should invest in to achieve better lives though livestock in 2054?

Follow the hashtag #ILRI40 to stay up to date with all ILRI’s anniversary events and discussions.
Go here for our event web page:

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