Secretary Vilsack talks climate change research opportunities


U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (WHO 13)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Global leaders in agriculture gathered in Des Moines Thursday as part of the 2021 World Food Prize week of events.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack was there along with Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Victor Villalobos and Canada’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture Chris Forbes.

The panel discussed topics ranging from disruptions in the industry due to COVID-19, to food insecurity, to climate change.

Secretary Vilsack said tackling the threat of climate change will take a new train of thought.  

“When you talk about innovation you obviously talk about the necessity of research, you talk about the need for research labs as we have at the USDA, the incredible land grant university system that we have. But you also have to talk about the opportunity side. We have a tendency I think to focus on the challenging side of climate change. To me, I think what we need to do, especially if we want to inspire the next generation of young people, we need to start talking about the opportunity side and there are unlimited opportunities in this space,” said Vilsack.

Later in the evening, the $250,000 prize was awarded to this year’s World Food Prize Laureate Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted. She was honored for her work in aquaculture and food systems.

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