NU Water for Food Conference to Focus on Building Resilient Agroecosystems

East Campus pillars at enterance

March 22, 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. — Recent years have seen major droughts, floods and extreme temperatures affecting vast areas of the globe, including some of its most productive agricultural regions. Experts from around the world will discuss those challenges during the 2013 Water for Food Conference May 5-8 in Lincoln.

The conference, whose theme is "Too Hot, Too Wet, Too Dry: Building Resilient Agroecosystems," will be at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

Hosted by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the fifth annual conference will feature plenary addresses by Benedito Braga, president, World Water Council; Rosina Bierbaum, University of Michigan; Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Christo Fabricius, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa; Heidi Cullen, Climate Central; and others to be announced.

NU President James B. Milliken said, "The University of Nebraska is pleased to again host the global Water for Food Conference, an event that brings together leading scientists, farmers and ranchers, policymakers, educators and many others to discuss one of the world's most pressing challenges: how to use the world's finite supply of water to feed a growing global population.

"The university and Nebraska are well-positioned to play a leadership role in this critical area and I believe that's why our conference has generated such strong global interest," Milliken added. "This year's theme – building resilient agroecosystems – is particularly timely given the extreme temperatures and weather-related events that have impacted Nebraska and the world in recent years. We look forward to another productive conference."

Registration is $250, which includes all conference events, materials and meals. Online registration and more information are available at the conference website:

Highlights also include:

  • Surviving the 2012 Drought: 80 Years of Innovation
  • "A View from the Field" panel featuring an international group of agricultural producers
  • Technical sessions on "Resilience in Working Agricultural Landscapes" and "Livestock and Water: Global perspectives"
  • Case studies on Drought Preparedness and Planning
  • "Communicating about Climate" roundtable discussion
  • "Cool Tools and Technologies for Agricultural and Water Research"
  • "Research in Action"
  • Graduate Student Poster competition focused on conference themes


The annual Water for Food Conference brings together experts from around the globe to discuss one of the greatest challenges facing our world today: how can we double our agricultural production by 2050 to feed an expected population of 9 billion people and do it using less water than we use today?

Since 2009 more than 1,300 people from 28 countries including farmers, scientists, policy-makers, students, educators, politicians, conservationists, industry leaders and philanthropists have gathered to discuss how innovations in science, technology and policy will enable agriculture to sustainably feed an increasingly hungry and thirsty world.

The Water for Food Conference is the preeminent event of the university's Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute, a research, policy and education institute established in 2010 and committed to efficiently using the world's limited freshwater resources to ensure a reliable food supply.

Roberto Lenton, Ph.D.
Executive Director
University of Nebraska Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute

Media Contacts: Melissa Lee
Communications Manager
University of Nebraska

Dan Moser
IANR News Service

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