story - Division of Agriculture Communications


News Release

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

May 3, 2012


Ken Korth, NABC program committee co-chair

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Dave Edmark, Agricultural Communication Services

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'Water Sustainability in Agriculture' to highlight national conference in Fayetteville


– "Water Sustainability in Agriculture" is the theme of the

24 th annual meeting of the National Agricultural Biotechnology Council, which will be held June 11-13 at the Fayetteville Town Center. The conference's hosts are the

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the UA Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

The NABC ( ) was founded in 1988 and is a consortium of 36 leading agricultural research and teaching universities, government agencies and institutions. It is based at the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

"Agriculture is by far the largest consumer of fresh water on the planet, and is fully dependent on a sustainable supply of quality water," said Ken Korth, conference program committee co-chair and UA professor of plant pathology.

"It is critical that agricultural researchers, food and fiber producers, and agriculture-related industries are fully aware of the many facets of their activities that impact water sustainability. These issues will be explored at the conference."

Registration for the conference is available at

. Early regular registration before May 15 is $250; early student registration is $150.

The keynote address will be delivered by Marc Andreini, research fellow at the

University of Nebraska Daugherty Water for Food Institute, on water management in

Africa. Other topic areas and scheduled speakers include:

Agricultural adaptations to water needs

International perspectives on water issues – Hank Venema, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg

Breeding for drought resistance – Dave Warner, Pioneer Hi-Bred International

Perennial crops and sustainable agriculture – Wes Jackson, president, The Land


Transgenic approaches to drought tolerance – Randy Allen, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, Oklahoma State University

Water Management and Policy

Consumer responses and programs – Richard Moore, executive director of interdisciplinary environmental sciences, The Ohio State University

Watershed protection programs – Deanna Osmond, professor of watershed, soil fertility and nutrient management, North Carolina State University

Agriculture nutrient cycling – Helen Jarvie, principal scientist, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, U.K.

Water quality and farmer programs – Andrew Sharpley, professor of crop, soil, and environmental sciences, University of Arkansas

Perspectives of a rice farmer – Ray Vester, Arkansas Rice Board member and chair of USA Rice Federation Environmental Regulatory Committee

Agriculture’s role in environmental and consumer issues

Corporate movements toward sustainability – Sarah Lewis, The Sustainability

Consortium, University of Arkansas

Environmental impacts of agriculture – Suzy Friedman, Environmental Defense


Water sustainability in the poultry industry –Kevin Igli, Tyson Foods senior vice president and chief environmental, health and safety officer

Water and agriculture in the Mississippi Delta – Michael Sullivan, USDA Natural

Resources Conservation Service

Preparing for future challenges

Economics of resource protection – David Zilberman, University of California-

Berkeley Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Optimizing water delivery – Reagan Waskom, director of Colorado Water

Institute, Colorado State University

National efforts in sustainability – Jed Colquhoun, University of Wisconsin

More information is at the conference website at