University of Nebraska leading the conversation on global water and food security

March 19, 2013

University leaders in Washington, D.C., to moderate panel of industry experts

WASHINGTON – Recognizing its unique standing in the global community when it comes to matters of water and food security and the future of rural land use, the University of Nebraska is sending representatives to the nation’s capital to lead two separate discussions among industry experts and policy decision-makers.

On Wednesday, March 20, in honor of World Water Day, which is Friday, Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute Executive Director Roberto Lenton will introduce a panel discussion at the National Press Club. Lenton will join Margaret Zeigler, executive director of the Global Harvest Initiative, to set the context for a panel discussion, “Too Hot, Too Wet, Too Dry: Building Resilient Agroecosystems,” also the theme for the fifth global Water for Food Conference, being held May 5-8 in Lincoln, Neb.

Ronnie D. Green, vice chancellor for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will guide the event’s four panelists:

  • Manish Bapna, executive vice president and managing director, World Resources Institute
  • Dr. Heidi Cullen, chief climatologist, Climate Central
  • Claudia Garcia, senior director of global corporate affairs, Elanco
  • Paul Weisenfeld, assistant to the administrator, Bureau for Food Security, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Wednesday afternoon Green, Lenton and Ziegler will lead a briefing on Capitol Hill featuring comments on the future of American agriculture and the role water plays in a sustainable rural future by four panelists:

  • Dr. Cathie Woteki, undersecretary for research, education and economics, USDA
  • Mark Svoboda, climatologist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln National Drought Mitigation Center
  • Joel Lipsitch, director of business integration and strategy, John Deere
  • April Hemmes, Iowa cattle and grain farmer

The University of Nebraska’s presence in Washington during World Water Day represents its commitment to serve as a unique global resource for research, policy analysis, education and outreach committed to increasing the resiliency of the world’s freshwater resources to ensure food and water security, and to create knowledge and action that supports rural people and places to achieve unique paths to their desired futures.

For more information on the University of Nebraska, visit For more information on the Daugherty Water for Food Institute, visit And for more information on the Rural Futures Institute, visit

The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska is a research, education and policy analysis institute committed to helping the world efficiently use its limited freshwater resources, with particular focus on ensuring the food supply for current and future generations.

The Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) is a private-sector voice for productivity growth throughout the agricultural value chain to sustainably meet the demands of a growing world.

Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska