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Globalizing Extension Innovation Network

This open group creates a network of professionals interested in globalizing Extension innovation. It shares and develops best practices for augmenting extension programs through cross-cultural and international experiences. The network supports the engagement of extension professionals through educational programs emphasizing understanding of global dynamics and using cultural knowledge.

Virginia Tech's Global Agricultural Productivity Initiative presents The Case for Productivity

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Virginia Tech's Global Agricultural Productivity Initiative presents The Case for Productivity

June 15, 2021, 8:00 AM Central/9:00 AM Eastern

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Nothing transformed twentieth-century agriculture more than productivity growth.  Yet today, some argue that productivity-focused strategies are inherently unsustainable and antithetical to the transformational visions of agriculture outlined in current global dialogues.

In preparation for the UN Food Systems Summit, the Global Agricultural Productivity Initiative at Virginia Tech presents a vision for invigorating food and agricultural systems through productivity growth to meet the needs of a growing world, while addressing the global threats to environmental and human well-being.

The event features perspectives from experts working with large- and small-scale farmers around the world, including:

  • Jennifer Billings, Global Agricultural Development Lead, Corteva Agriscience
  • Pawan Kumar, Director of Agricultural Development, S.M. Sehgal Foundation (India)
  • Stewart Leeth, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, Smithfield Foods
  • Ginya Truitt Nakata, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean, International Potato Center (CIP)
  • Mel Ouloch, Regional Director, Sasakawa Africa Association
  • Ben Pratt, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, The Mosaic Company
  • Natasha Santos, Vice President of Global Stakeholder Strategy, Bayer Crop Science
  • Megan Seibel, Farmer and Director of theβ€―VALOR Program, Virginia Tech
  • Aaron Wetzel, Vice President, Small Ag & Turf Production Systems, John Deere

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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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