AIARD Newsletter-October 2014
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Dear AIARD Membership:

It has been nearly six months since we celebrated the 50th anniversary of AIARD! Thank you to all who brought your creative energy to that conference. For those of you who could not make it, it's not too late to participate! You can join us all in the continuing dialogue about the strengths, weaknesses and future of our organization through our on-line forum. Just go to, sign in and start sharing your ideas. The forum conversation will be divided into three sections: 1) Thinking Strategically About Key Focus Areas for AIARD; 2) Organizational Innovation for AIARD for the Future; and 3) Building Broader Support for the Organization. Each key section will be posted for discussion for three months after which it will be integrated into a final vision document to be presented in time for the 51st conference of AIARD in 2015 The first discussion is half-way done, so don't delay...get your thoughts and ideas into the process now!

Look for other exciting developments this coming year as we develop our action-oriented agenda, boost the visibility of our organization, and grow our Future Leaders program! In this newsletter, please find some examples of each of these efforts. Finally, look for our new "Save-the-Date" cards for the 51st conference, May 31-June 2, 2015, and spread the word about AIARD!

Deanna Behring
AIARD President

AIARD Forum-Join the Discussion!

Continue the discussions that began at the 50th Annual Conference on our online forum! Over the next few months, we encourage you to log-on and add your voice to shape the future of AIARD.


AIARD Member and Partners Updates

When it comes to education, dual degrees are better than one | Penn State
New Study Finds that Orange Maize Improves Vitamin A in Children | HarvestPlus
GAP Report® & GAP Index™ | Global Harvest Initiative
New Reuters News Feed Dedicated to Food Security | FAO/Thomson Reuters
Alumna puts ag degrees to use promoting food security | Future Leader Alumni
Do you have updates to share for our next issue? Please send links to your stories to


Feed the Future Authorization

Feed the Future has never been authorized by Congress and the Obama Administration is hoping to cement the initiative as a legacy item with an authorization that would continue into the next administration.  Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) were working on legislation last year to authorize a global food security strategy and were the lead drafters of the bills introduced on September 18.  Congresswoman McCollum was joined by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), who is now the lead House sponsor.  Senator Casey was joined by Senators Mike Johanns (R-NE), Chris Coons, (D-DE), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) as cosponsors.

APLU, through the International Advocacy Coordinating Committee, is working to ensure that the role of higher education is included in the bill language. The NGO community is also offering comment through Interaction. You are encouraged to be in touch with your Federal Relations Office to provide awareness and support.

Please watch the AIARD listserve for more updates on HR 5656 and S 2909.

Thought For Food Challenge

This year, TFF is calling on the best and brightest students from universities around the world to form teams of up to five people (ideally representing diverse fields of study/experience) to produce unexpected and out-of-the-box solutions to the massive question: how are we going to feed 9 billion people?

Over the course of several months, students around the world will dive into the complex issues surrounding food security to merge their creativity, passions, and expertise and develop bold, breakthrough solutions to the big challenge of feeding 9 billion. They'll get access to all-star mentors, gain expertise in Design Thinking methodology, meet and become part of a global community of friends and supporters...and have a whole lot of fun! 

Through a sequence of fast-paced "missions" student teams compete to win $10,000 to execute on their big ideas, as well as a trip to Lisbon, Portugal. In return, TFF will provide access to all-star mentors and first-rate tools to help them every step of the way.
There is no limit to the number of teams that can join from each university and the competition is open to students at any level (undergrad, grad, and post-doc) from any field of study.

Team Sign-Ups have been extended to October 31, 2014.

Learn more at

You can also contact TFF Ambassador and AIARD Member Karyssa Zavala at for more information.

BIFAD e-Consultation on Human and Institutional Capacity Building (HICD)

From November 18-20th, 2014, the  Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) and USAID with support from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) will host an online discusion on how human and institutional capacity development can support agricultural innovation systems. See the link below for more information.

BIFAD and Feed the Future AgExchange Announcement

Advocacy Update

AIARD, APLU and Kansas State University collaborated on a very successful Capitol Hill reception showcasing the Feed the Future Innovation Labs on September 17, in the Dirksen Senate Office BuildingThe reception featured displays about the goals, activities, and accomplishments of all of the labs, which now involve over 60 universities, according to Rob Bertram, USAID Chief Scientist.  Several AIARD members were in attendance to "carry the flag" (see photo) and other attendees included a good representation of House and Senate staff, universities, agency personnel, NGOs, consultants, and foundations. Participants actively engaged with representatives from the Innovation Labs, who shared information about their programs.
AIARD will continue to collaborate with APLU and other partners in the future to achieve better visibility on Capitol Hill for the importance of issues in international agriculture and rural development. The next event will be a briefing on the key role of capacity building, likely to be carried out in early 2015.

New 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.


Save the Date-51st Annual Meeting

Mark your calendars for May 31-June 2, 2015 for the 51st AIARD Annual Conference.
Copyright © 2014 Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development, All rights reserved.

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