Students Invited to Help Feed the World

Apr 26, 2012

 

WOOSTER, Ohio -- High school and college students interested in discovering how they can make a career out of helping feed the world's growing population are invited to an open house at Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) on Wednesday, June 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"Feeding the World in 2050: Career Opportunities for Future Scientists," hosted by the Department of Plant Pathology, will emphasize the wide array of degree programs and career opportunities in plant pathology and agricultural sciences. Participants will have the chance to visit programs in bioinformatics, disease diagnostics, disease management, organic agriculture, urban farming and invasive species, as well as examine diseases of field crops, fruits, vegetables and ornamentals.

A selection of laboratories, greenhouses and research plots will be open for visitors, including one of the largest disease-screening wheat nurseries in the northeastern U.S. featuring research in the genetics of breeding, biological control, host resistance to fungicides, epidemiological models and forecasting, inoculation techniques, and disease management strategies. Faculty, students and staff will be available to meet with visitors.

"The event's aim is to raise awareness of careers in plant pathology and agriculture. There are projected shortages of graduates with specialized training in the agricultural sciences, and the job outlook is very strong," said Anne Dorrance, professor of plant pathology and event organizer. "In addition, the global population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050. This will place unprecedented demands on our food supply. Scientists with international perspectives are needed to bring novel and revolutionary approaches to agroecosystem management and sustainable food production."

The event is part of the American Phytopathological Society's North Central Division Annual Meeting, which will be held June 13-15 at OARDC. Dorrance is the APS North Central Division president.

Faculty and staff from the Department of Entomology and the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science will also participate in the open house on June 13, as well as plant pathologists from across the north-central U.S. and Canada. Jim Stack, professor and director of the Great Plains Diagnostic Network at Kansas State University, will deliver the opening address, "Plant Health: Your Life Depends On It!"

The open house is free and includes a complimentary box lunch for those who register by June 1. Event and registration information is available online at http://plantpath.osu.edu/future/.

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