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Food, sustainability and climate change experts to speak in Gainesville April 2-3

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida will host a climate symposium April 2-3 that will feature leading authorities on food, sustainability and climate change.

Registration has closed for the event, but members of the media are welcome to attend. It is being held at the Reitz Student Union on campus. The last two sessions on April 3, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., are open to anyone, regardless of registration. For more information, please see agenda here: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/landgrant/agenda.pdf.

Called Sustaining Economics and Natural Resources in a Changing World: Key Role of Land-Grant Universities, the symposium will address the impact land-grant institutions and their research have had on food security and agricultural production; infrastructure and transportation; energy; sustainable development and resource policies.

“We need to know about these issues and how to adapt to the changing environment to thrive,” said Carolyn Cox, coordinator with the UF Florida Climate Institute and the event’s organizer. “This research into how we live, how we eat, will help us meet our basic needs in the future.”

The event was organized to highlight sustainability issues as well as foster research and outreach. It is a part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Morrill Act that established land-grant universities, such as UF.

The closing keynote speaker on April 3 will be Ron Sims, former deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“He’s an amazing speaker,” Cox said. “I think he’ll send people away with the feeling that the work they do in sustainability is worthwhile and to press on, regardless of the political climate or budget constraints.”

John Ingram, food security leader for the United Kingdom-based Natural Environment Research Council, will give the April 2 opening address.

His presentation will cover food security, or the availability and access to food, and how the impacts of food production systems cross international borders.

The symposium is a joint effort between UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Florida Climate Institute and UF’s Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment.

For more information, visit: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/landgrant/index.html.

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Contacts:

Writer: Robert H. Wells, 352-273-3569; rhwells@ufl.edu

Source: Carolyn Cox, 352-392-1846, ext. 233; crcox@ufl.edu