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The Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People: Implications for Cooperative Extension

RECORDINGS are linked in the Agenda below

Demand for agricultural products is expect to double by 2050. A growing concern is emerging about the potential gap between food production and demand and the potential consequences. This professional development session will target Extension faculty and administrators with the intent of achieving greater awareness of these critical issues and encouraging Extension leadership of relevant educational programming. This is sponsored by the North Central states Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Program Leaders.

What Will Happen?
The “Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People: Implications for Cooperative Extension” professional development will involve:

• Overview of the issues through presentations by eight national "thought leaders." Tuesday, April 3, 12:30 to 3:45 PM Central
• Panel discussion with land grant university leaders. Thursday, April 5, 10 to 11:30 AM Central
• State and local extension system discussions on future planning. Timing is determine by state and local Extension leadership
• Archive all presentations for future discussions with faculty, clientele, and stakeholders.


Workshop - April 3 (12:30 PM to 3:45 PM Central time)

12:30 PM Central

Welcome, Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska

The Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People, John Foley, University of Minnesota

The Gap in Food Production and Demand (After this webinar window opens, you may need to click on Stop and then Start buttons to see the presentation), Keith Fuglie

USDA Economic Research Service Implications for Consumers, Helen Jensen, Iowa State University

Ability of Agriculture to Adapt, Ken Cassman, Chair of Independent Science and Partnership Council for CGIAR


2:20 PM – Resume following Break
Implications for workforce development and focus of youth programs, William Nelson, VP Corporate Citizenship and CHS Foundation President and Cindy Heser, Senior HR Manager of Talent Acquisition, Pioneer

Sustainable Agriculture for the 21st Century, Doug Jackson-Smith, Utah State University

Balancing food and bio-energy, Jeff Steiner, USDA Agriculture Research Service


3:45 PM - Adjourn

Panel discussion - April 5 (10 to 11:30 AM Central Time)
- Jill Auburn, Acting Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist for USDA
- Wendy Wintersteen, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University
- Ronnie Green, Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at University of Nebraska – Lincoln
- Keith Smith, Director, Ohio State University Extension

Connecting on the day of the webinar:
Workshop participants will connect to a video streamed version of the workshop found at

Twitter will be used for participant idea exchange and questions during the workshop. To contribute to the conversation in twitter, write a tweet and add the hashtag #feed9b. The Twitter conversation will be displayed live with the workshop video. You can also follow the Twitter conversation on this topic by opening

Suggested Reading

- Solutions for a Cultivated Planet (Nature – Oct 2011) Access to the full article should be available from computers connected via university networks.
- Crop yield potential, yield trends, and global food security pp. 37-51. Handbook of Climate Change and Agroecosystems. (attached pdf file).
- National Academies of Sciences – Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century
- Transforming U.S. Agriculture, Science, May 6 2011 . (attached 2 page pdf)

Questions for Local Discussion

1. How is this issue already impacting our clientele (farmers, youth, consumers, community leaders)? What additional impacts on clientele do we anticipate in the next 5 to 10 years?
2. What extension programs, partnerships, or translation research currently in progress directly support the "Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People"?
3. To better address this issue, how might we do things differently? Changes in program focus? Partnerships? Target audience?
4. How do we begin to help our Extension clientele better understand this issue and/or participate in defining Extension's role?

Questions: Contact your state’s Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources program leaders or Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska (, 402/472-2966)

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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