AIARD Newsletter-March 2015
View this email in your browser

New Look-AIARD Logo

You may have noticed a new look in AIARD communications. In honor of the start of the next 50 years of AIARD, the AIARD Board commissioned a new association logo. We hope you enjoy the new look!

AIARD 2015 Annual Meeting

May 31 - June 2, 2015
AIARD’s 51st Annual Conference
“Fostering Innovation in International Agriculture and Rural Development”
Holiday Inn Capitol, Washington, DC

Visit for the most current conference schedule. Registration and hotel reservations will open soon!
This year’s Conference theme “Fostering Innovation in International Agriculture and Rural Development” grew out of ideas and recommendations of AIARD members who participated in roundtable discussions during the 2014 Conference and via the subsequent on-line forum.  
Our welcoming keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert L. Thompson, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, formerly World Bank Director of Rural Development, USDA Assistant Secretary for Economics, Purdue Dean of Agriculture, and Professor of Agricultural Policy at the University of Illinois. Monday’s luncheon speaker will be Purdue University professor and World Food Prize laureate, Dr. Gebisa Ejeta. The President’s Awards Dinner will feature Dr. Terri Raney, FAO Senior Economist, Editor, The State of Food and Agriculture speaking on “Innovation in Family Farming.” Learn more about the breakout sessions and see a conference schedule at

AIARD Member and Partners Updates

MSU, University of Rwanda Launch first Masters Degree in Agribusiness in Rwanda | Michigan State University
Mapping for Investments in Biofortification | HarvestPlus
Empowering Farmers, Improving Food Security in Tajikistan | Chemonics
Project Looks to Horticulture Value Chains for Honduran Women | Penn State University
Vegetable Seeds Available for Development Projects 
| Seed Programs International
Creating future leaders: BIFAD and USAID dialogue on human and institutional capacity | David Bathrick
Global Network of Universities Commit to Fight Hunger and Malnutrition | Auburn University
Experiment could signal income boost for Rwanda pyrethrum farmers Borlaug Institute

RWANDA — An experiment now in its final stages could hold the key to extra months of income for pyrethrum farmers across Rwanda.
The experiment, a field variety trial, seeks to identify chrysanthemum plants that produce the highest quantity and quality of flowers for extracting pyrethrin, a natural compound with valuable insecticidal properties.
Preliminary results suggest that the most popular chrysanthemum variety among Rwandan farmers, Capita Moke, might not be the best for production or income, said Dr. Tara Wood of the Texas A&M Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture.
“Before the field trial began, pyrethrum farmers were advised to plant Capita Moke because anecdotal evidence suggests it generates the highest profits due to its tolerance to various stresses,” she said. “But the field trials so far are painting a different picture.”
Wood, who leads the field variety trial in the Musanze District of Rwanda, says that while it’s premature to make conclusions, preliminarily results indicate Capita Moke has higher mortality rates compared to other varieties and falls short in other areas as well.
“Three of the test varieties, labeled RW218, RW239 and Nyiragahini, began producing flowers three months earlier and continue to yield noticeably higher quantities than Capita Moke,” she said. “The implications of these results could be that farmers who switch to one of these three varieties gain three additional months of income and an overall income boost that correlates to the better production.”
Capita Moke and the three other varieties, planted in February 2014 as splits from 1-year-old plants, continue to be tested in Musanze as plans move forward to extend the project into another pyrethrum-growing region of the small African country by the end of February 2015.
“The new site will be used to determine whether our findings remain consistent,” Wood said. “If observations and results from the new site support what we’re finding in Musanze, farmers can make a confident switch to new varieties with sound evidence that stronger profits could result.”
The field variety trial is part of the Rwanda Pyrethrum Program (RPP), sponsored by SC Johnson and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by the Borlaug Institute. The program aims to enhance the livelihoods of pyrethrum farmers by enabling and providing a stronger foundation for a sustainable pyrethrum sector in Rwanda.  
Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension | University of Illinois
Thirty development professionals gathered December 11th at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C. to kick off one of Feed the Future's most recent projects, Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES). This project is an effort among the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, the University of Florida, the University of California, Davis, and Cultural Practice, LLC. to facilitate better access to technology, training, and agricultural inputs especially for women in and through agricultural extension services. The focus countries for the first phase will be Bangladesh, Zambia, Honduras, and Senegal. The team will collaborate with local actors, supporting local extension providers to partner in innovative learning exchanges; assist stakeholders in designing and implementing gender-transformative, nutrition sensitive activities; integrate service delivery mechanisms that better reach women farmers and promote nutrition sensitive agriculture; support farmer organizations, carry out needs-based assessments and applied research; hold regional technology fairs and virtual marketplaces; and create mentoring programs and strengthen networks to empower and engage smallholder farmers, both male and female.
Andrea Bohn, INGENAES Project Associate Director shared that one of the aims of the project is to "Find ways where [women farmers] say “This fits into my value space. This helps me live my life in a way that I truly value, that my family values, and that the community values. It’s not about how we as experts value things but how that can be translated into something that becomes meaningful for people we are trying to help.” More on INGENAES.

Future Leader Forum Applications Now Open

The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) administers a competitive fellowship program to nurture and to provide partial financial support to students attending both 1) the AIARD Annual Conference and 2) the annual Future Leaders Forum in Washington, D.C. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to students who have a sincere interest in international agriculture and rural development issues and their solutions. These fellowships are intended to enhance the students' understanding and appreciation of issues and opportunities in international agriculture and rural development. 

AIARD will provide a select number of fellowships in 2015 to partially fund students' participation in the AIARD Annual Conference and in the Future Leaders Forum which includes participation, a day and a half of visits to agencies, companies and organizations (i.e. USAID, USDA-FAS & NIFA, World Bank, Peace Corps, UN/FAO, Chemonics, Dupont/Pioneer International, Millennium Challenge Corporation) engaged in international agriculture and rural development.

This year we will be doing something a bit different in that all students selected as FLF participants will be expected to display posters highlighting their research interests at the AIARD Conference. Additional information on poster guidelines will be provided to students selected as Future Leader Fellows.

More information and the application can be found here.

Applications are due at midnight (Pacific) on Sunday, April 19th.

Dr. Hiram Larew Retires

Our friend and colleague Dr. Hiram Larew retired from his position as Director of NIFA's Center for International Programs at USDA on Monday, February 2. Hiram enjoyed a distinguished government career of over 30 years. Many of us had the pleasure of working with Hiram as he directed USDA's international programs, facilitated the internationalization of US Land-grant university campuses, and provided thoughtful leadership to the International Science and Education (ISE) Competitive Grants Program and other NIFA programs overseas.


Hiram has been a wonderful colleague and friend of AIARD, always going "beyond the call" to support international agriculture and especially AIARD.  He served as President of AIARD from 2008-2009.  Hiram was very supportive of the Future Leaders Forum and always worked to assure quality programs of AIARD and recognition of the work of its members. 


The attached photo was taken at an informal reception for Hiram at his office on January 27. Several AIARD members were in attendance and we had a great visit with Hiram in his office. It was obvious from one and all who attended the reception that Hiram will be greatly missed. We at AIARD will do our best not to let him go, however!

Submitted by Sue Schram

LinkedIn Group for
Future Leader Alumni

Stay connected with other AIARD Former Future Leaders by joining our new alumni group on LinkedIn.  

This is a group for the AIARD Future Leaders Forum alumni to share knowledge, experience, news and keep in touch.

AIARD Award Nominations

Nominations are now open for the Distinguished Service, Special Service, and Young Professional Awards. Nominations are due on May 1, 2015. 


Call for Submissions:
Lightning Talks

The upcoming AIARD Annual Conference May 31-June 2, 2015, will offer an excellent program with a number of panels organized around the theme of Fostering Innovation in International Agriculture and Rural Development. It will include a session on Innovation in Comprehensive Rural Development and for that session we want to hear from YOU.  What are some innovations in rural development that you could share with conference attendees, within the context of a new presentation style known as Lightning Talks.
Lightning Talks are a fast-paced, highly energetic delivery style. They are 5-minute presentations, with exactly 20 PowerPoint slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds.  When one presentation ends, the next one begins.  Presenters will then facilitate round table discussions with attendees for more in-depth discussion.
We invite all AIARD members, as well as others interested in comprehensive rural development, to submit a proposal for a Lightening Talk. The deadline for proposal submission is April 10, 2015. Presentations will take place on June 2, 2015 at the conference.
You can learn more about the session format in the attachment to this email, then submit your proposal at We know there are many innovations that our members are working on that are cutting edge, but may not be widely known. Please make a proposal to share these innovations with AIARD members!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact session chairs Samantha Alvis or Tom Gill

An outline of the conference program is now available at and registration and hotel information will be available soon.
This is an exciting new presentation format and we look forward to your contributions! 


Future Leaders Scholarship Fund

Support the next generation of leaders in international agriculture and rural development. 

The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) is launching an “AIARD Scholarship Fund” which will support annual scholarships to the top “AIARD Future Leaders” selected from a pool of talented undergraduate and graduate students in a field related to international agriculture. Learn more here.
Copyright © 2015 Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp