Discovery at Ohio State: New Thought for Food - May 11, 2017
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Project Launches to Improve Resiliency of Ohio Farms

The Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation is teaming up with Solutions from the Land on a multiyear project to help Ohio farmers lead the way to an agriculture that preserves the land and adapts to a changing climate, and a food system that takes care of all Ohioans. The project launched last month with the inaugural meeting of the 34-member steering committee, representing the breadth of Ohio agriculture   One of the key goals will be a plan to address the challenge of food insecurity in Ohio, starting with Ohio farms. One in six households struggle with keeping nutritious food on the table, and nearly one in four children face days without adequate, nutritious food. InFACT co-leads Casey Hoy and Brian Snyder were joined on the steering committee by Ohio State colleagues Bobby Moser, David Hanselmann and Jill Clark.

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Joel Johnson Wraps Up His Term on the InFACT Executive Committee

Joel Johnson’s role in InFACT really began long before the initiative was conceived. Joel was a leader in a “big idea” proposal for a center for environmental data science, earning him an invitation to be one of the 19 faculty who crafted the framework for data analytics at Ohio State, as a member of the climate and environment writing team. When the request for the next round of Discovery Theme proposals was announced, Joel was back at the table from the start contributing to the successful proposal for Resilient, Sustainable and Global Food Security for Health (RSGFSH, now InFACT). Joel offered stellar engineering and technical expertise to the proposal and to the emerging program, a dimension that will continue to influence the initiative’s research portfolio and impact. He became Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, at about the same time that InFACT began, and the Department continues to lead in the engineering of sensors for application across the food supply chain. Joel’s professional network has been an important asset; he reached out early on to major potential InFACT partners such as IBM. Joel is a calm, intelligent, practical, hard working and competent person, and a real pleasure to work with. We’ll miss his logical and insightful contributions to the Executive Committee’s work but will look forward to his continued role in shaping an engineering pathway to Food and AgriCultural Transformation.


InFACT and the Future of Ohio Agriculture 

review of available data by researchers at Penn State University has indicated that world population growth for the first half of the 21st Century may commonly be overstated in projections regarding the demand for increased agricultural production. These researchers argue that attention focused on increasing quantity of production should be reapportioned to achieve a better balance with the need for improved environmental outcomes as well.  This assertion is certainly relevant to the situation in Ohio, as part of both the Mississippi River and Great Lakes watersheds. At InFACT, we are also aware that the concept of sustainability involves not only farm viability and environmental restoration, but also social criteria, such as working to improve the lives of farm workers and increasing food security within Ohio, a land of plenty.  A sustainable future for all participants in the food system from farmers to consumers is complex and difficult work, which is why we are pulling together across Ohio State to lead in this direction. (OSU Garden of Hope photo courtesy of Colleen Spees)


In-FACT of the Month

Have you heard the news? You can connect with @OhioStateInFACT on social media! The path to addressing the food insecurity challenge in Ohio starts with conversation, so let's start talking on Facebook and Twitter. #DiscoveryInFACT 

Upcoming Events

May 17-18
Conference on Food and Nutritional Metabolomics held in conjunction with the Ohio Mass Spectrometry Symposium - OSU Foods for Health Discovery Theme
May 20-21
Reducetarian Summit at New York University (student scholarships are available)
May 22-24
National Farm Viability Conference
May 27-30
12th Annual Assembly of the Canadian Association of Food Studies (CAFS)
June 4
Nominate a Lecturer - Provost Discovery Theme Lecture Series Call for Nominations

Funding Opportunities

InFACT - Linkage and Leverage Grants - LOIs due May 19
Rathmann Challenge - Mitigating Climate Change by Expanding the Use of Compost - Subscribe to the organization's newsletter for dates and additional info
National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center - Environmental Dynamics and Food Systems - Applications due May 15
AFRI Request for Applications Webinar: Agricultural Economics and Rural Communities - May 17
USDA NIFA - Agricultural and Food Research Initiative: Food Safety Challenge Area - Applications due June 21
USDA NIFA - Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area - Applications due August 2
FFAR - Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) Grants - Only members of ROAR may apply, applications accepted on a rolling basis
FFAR - Ideas and Input Request for Research in Seven Challenge Areas (Food Waste and Loss; Protein Challenge; Water Scarcity; Innovation Pathway to Sustainability; Healthy Soils; Thriving Farms; Urban Food Systems; Making My Plate Your Plate)
AFRI Foundational Program Opportunities
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Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT)
3138B Smith Lab, 174 W. 18th Ave., Columbus, OH, 43210 |

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