A New Era for the World Food Prize
More than a decade ago, I saw firsthand the impact of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug’s mission while visiting rural Uganda. Students of a girl’s grade school were beginning to learn modern farming practices that would literally change the lives of their entire family. Some young girls attending this school went on to the only Ugandan university for women, African Rural University, in the Kagadi District. These women learned leadership skills, used the latest ag tools and technologies and found their personal agency. They became the agricultural specialists needed to help their communities envision and create more robust futures with improved farming operations and businesses. Since first witnessing the power of youth engagement in this small village, I’ve been inspired by countless examples of Dr. Borlaug’s mission at work around the world. And yet, the fight to end hunger remains daunting.
My experience working in Africa is only one of the many reasons I am honored to join the World Food Prize Foundation as its next president. Now more than ever, we must work collectively to address the complex global challenges we face, whether in food safety in sub-Saharan Africa or in advancing food and nutrition security around the globe or addressing the impacts of climate change on agriculture productivity. In my experience, change starts by bringing together diverse points of view to create comprehensive and innovative solutions.
For the past 20 years under Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn’s leadership, the Foundation has grown in so many directions. The Borlaug Dialogue continues to attract and engage thought leaders and innovators in global food security. The annual prize recognizes leaders in many fields and on all continents. And the youth programs bring students around the world closer to the agriculture science and technology fields that ultimately feed the world. Based on the incredible reputation and reach of the World Food Prize Foundation, I hope to further mobilize the network of the organization to support the next generation of farmers, women and youth in agriculture especially, in a sustainable manner. With the support of our Board of Directors and Council of Advisors, I am committed to extending Dr. Borlaug’s mission to improve the quantity, quantity and availability of food.
As the Foundation enters its next era, we have the opportunity to build upon all that has been accomplished. My priority is to sit down with many of you – our valued partners, sponsors and friends – to hear your ideas and feedback about how the World Food Prize Foundation can deliver even greater impact into the future. I plan to use your input, the wisdom of the staff and my own experiences to shape our strategic plan and priorities.
I’m eager to get started in January with a broad survey and a series of meetings. In the months ahead, I’ll communicate with you regularly and share some of what I hear and learn.
Thank you for this incredible opportunity. I look forward to continuing on Dr. Borlaug’s journey together.
Congratulations, Barbara! I'm so glad the World Food Prize will benefit from your excellent experience and insights working in Africa in agriculture!
Ellen Wilson | firstname.lastname@example.org | 11/18/2019 12:08 PM