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July 9: U.S. food, ag director to discuss ‘wicked problems’

Ramaswamy-80PULLMAN, Wash. – The head of U.S. food and agriculture will address societal changes he refers to as “wicked problems,” – including population growth, climate change and poverty – at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 9, in room T101, Food Science and Human Nutrition building, at Washington State University Pullman.

A 9 a.m. reception will be held before the free, public talk in the ground floor lobby of the building. The talk will be videostreamed live at

Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), will deliver WSU’s Sam Smith Lecture, “Setting the Table for a Hotter, Flatter, More Crowded Earth” (

“The country is fortunate to have such a learned visionary directing NIFA and providing strong leadership for addressing the critical question of how we will feed, shelter and clothe 9 billion people in 2050 while maintaining a minimal ecological footprint,” said Ron Mittelhammer, dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.

NIFA is the USDA’s premier funding agency supporting research, extension and outreach programs in the country. Ramaswamy oversees 350 employees and a budget of $1.3 billion.

He has received awards including a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, fellow of the Entomological Society of America and distinguished graduate alumnus of Cook College, Rutgers University.

The Sam Smith Lecture ( is hosted by the plant pathology department in CAHNRS.



Hanu Pappu, WSU plant pathology, 509-335-3752,

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