Gebisa Ejeta of Purdue stresses stewardship in ag education


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Gebisa Ejeta, the 2009 World Food Prize laureate from Purdue University, stresses the importance of stewardship and education to keep agriculture moving forward in today’s world.

“Sustainability is an important agenda because we have to pay attention to meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of the future,” Ejeta said.

“It has everything to do with the stewardship of our natural resources, while at the same time effectively using those resources to meet the food and fiber needs of today’s population.”


He also said sustainability and stewardship should remain on the minds of American farmers and agribusiness professionals.

“I think it’s very important for American farmers and American industry to be concerned about sustainability,” Ejeta said.

“American agriculture has been very productive and, to some extent, that productivity may have brought about some neglect of our natural resources because of the overuse of inputs that have made agriculture so productive.”

But the Purdue agronomist added he believes the American ingenuity and technology can lead to the continuation of producing enough food for the current population.


Ejeta said he has been impressed by the advancements that farmers and researchers already have made, especially with conservation contributions.

Ejeta believes that the American agriculture industry needs to have an open dialogue with consumers about what the industry is doing and where food comes from.

“The risk is that, because of the efficiency and productivity level of modern agriculture, the current generation of Americans, and I’m afraid future generations, may forget where plants and animals are produced,” he said.

“They may forget that these products are produced on farms, and there may be a tendency to believe they come out of groceries and places like that.”

The continuing education of the agriculture process is important to the younger generation to know the process and consequences of using the natural resources in the world, Ejeta added.


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  1. I assume this is a man at Purdue speaking for agricultue, particularly the livestock industry. Has he had his home destroyed by an industrial livestock facility the North Preston site of Park Farms?

    Having had many friends whose lives were deciminated by these industrial farms, I do not agree with his article. These are not family farms, their bottom line is profit and that is the name of the game.

    Be real Eljeta until we declare these so called farms commercial and eliminate their zoning abatements, mandate their fair share of taxes and enforce the regulations to protect existing homes, nothing in this picture will change. Farm Bureua has, in my opinion, aided and abetted an attitude with these industrial farms that is unacceptable for Ohioans. Farm Bureua make the changes I have suggested for years. Subsidize the small and medium sized livestock operations and watch the livestock industry grow.

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