AFSI Newsletter - August 2020
New USDA Report: Climate Indicators for Agriculture
Agricultural production is highly sensitive to weather and climate, which affect when farmers and land managers plant seeds or harvest crops, as well as whether they make capital investments or plant trees in an agroforestry system. Co-authored by our Senior Scientific Program Manager, Dr. Rachel Melnick, this new report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) focuses on how agricultural systems are impacted by climate change and offers a list of 20 indicators that provide a broad look at what is happening across the country. The authors also outline how the changes taking place in agriculture affect the system that many people make their livelihoods from.
Supported by a grant from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI) organized a webinar series to discuss the history and opportunities of microbial biotechnology for novel foods. With four sessions taking place between July 9-17, 2020, this online event began with an exciting plenary talk on the history and future of microbial technology, followed by three discussion sessions guided by experts in the field. The online event attracted 301 registrants from 43 countries, and the outcomes from the discussions will be used to inform future activities, including policy discussions and outreach efforts intended to enhance science-based regulatory frameworks.

The 4th Annual Workshop for the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains Project took place virtually on June 23-24, 2019. Co-led by the University of Florida (UF) and AFSI, the multi-organization team was awarded a four-year grant by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture in 2017. Workshop participants included scientists and extension specialists from UF, AFSI, Washington State University, International Food Policy Research Institute, University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, and World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services.