STARKVILLE, Miss.--The director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and former Mississippi State faculty member visited campus Monday.
Sonny Ramaswamy presented, "Setting the table for a hotter, flatter, and more crowded Earth," explaining the challenges of feeding the world's rapidly growing population in times of arable land and water decline, and climate and capital change.
"We need some transformative approaches moving forward," Ramaswamy said. "This creates an interesting challenge for all of us - deploying the resources that we've got."
Ramaswamy also talked about the role institutions such as MSU can play in helping to prepare for and solve issues, such as providing extension programs and education.
"Stepping up to the plate is a daunting challenge, but I'm optimistic we're headed in the right direction," he said.
At MSU, Ramaswamy held numerous positions, once serving on the faculty of the department of entomology and plant pathology. He also was head of Kansas State University's department of entomology, associate dean and director of Agricultural Research Programs at Purdue University and dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University.
He currently oversees a NIFA budget of $1.2 billion which includes competitive, formula and non-competitive grants and agreements.
Ramaswamy is the recipient of numerous honors, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the Entomological Society of America, and Distinguished Graduate Alumnus of Cook College, Rutgers University.
NIFA is part of USDA's Research, Education and Economics Mission Area, which includes the Agricultural Research Service, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the National Agriculture Library and National Arboretum.