Researchers look to future need

A group of 55 researchers and experts in food production have published 100 questions aimed at guiding research and policy toward feeding the world's growing population.

Among the researchers is Thomas Tomich, director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at University of California-Davis.

"For California agriculture to stay at the cutting edge in a competitive food system that is facing increasingly complex challenges worldwide, our researchers need to be engaged globally," Tomich said in a statement.

The questions are presented in an article in the current issue of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. To feed an expected world population of 9 billion by midcentury, the world's farmers will need to nearly double current production, the authors state.

The questions address 13 areas, including climate change, water availability and soil health.

The article is posted at

Scientist lauded for biotech work

Alison Van Eenennaam, a cooperative extension specialist at University of California-Davis, was awarded the 2010 National Award for Excellence in Extension by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Van Eenennaam has developed a research program focusing on animal biotechnology and an internationally recognized outreach program. She has developed educational programs for livestock producers on topics ranging from animal cloning to genetic selection.

For more information on Van Eenennaam's work, visit the UC Cooperative Extension Animal Biotechnology website,

Webinars probe market volatility

Experts from several Western universities will host four webinars during the month of December on managing agricultural market volatility.

The series, Ag in Uncertain Times, begins Dec. 8 with a presentation by Dan Sumner, of University of California-Davis, and Danny Klinefelter, of Texas A&M University.

The first webinar will focus on overall volatility in American agriculture. Three more presentations, on Dec. 9, 15 and 16, will focus on livestock, grains and produce. Each webinar begins at 9 a.m. Pacific.

The webinars are free, but are limited to 500 users. They are presented at

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