2018 IFAL Symposium

The Food and Agriculture: A Global Conversation Symposium took place on April 24, 2018 at the UC Davis Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center. The goal of the conference is to bring together leaders in academia, industry and the media to provide participants with scientific information about agriculture, nutrition and food security. We hope to spark collaborations between attendees that will enhance the public discourse of scientific issues.

Tentative Schedule 2018 IFAL Symposium:

Food and Agriculture: A Global Conversation

Monday April 23rd Innovator Summit

Hosted by the Innovation Institute for Food and Health. Find information here.

Tuesday April 24th IFAL Symposium

9:00am - 9:05am Opening Remarks - Professor Pam Ronald, Distinguished Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis; Director, IFAL

9:05am - 9:30am Keynote Speaker - Ms. Ertharin Cousin, Former Executive Director, World Food Programme, United Nations Tentative title: "Achieving food security and nutrition in an era of conflict and climate change"

9:30am - 11:00am Agriculture, Food Security and Human Health: How to Ethically and Sustainably Feed a Growing Population 


  • Dr.  Anne Barnhill, Research Scholar, Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins Universit
  • Dr. Clare Narrod, Research Scientist and Manager, Risk Analysis Program, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
  • Dr. Steve Savage, Independent Consultant, POPAgriculture Podcast, Applied Mythology Blog
  • Moderator: Dr. Christine Bruhn, Retired Director, Center for Consumer Research, University of California, Davis

11:00am - 11:25am Coffee and Networking Break

11:25am - 12:55pm Diversified Breeding: Techniques That Look to the Future


  • Professor David Mackill, Adjunct Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Professor Richard Michelmore, Director, Genome Center, University of California, Davis
  • Professor Tony Shelton, International Professor of Entomology, Associate Director of International Programs, Cornell University
  • Moderator: Dr. Gurdev Khush, World Food Prize Laureate 1996, Adjunct Professor Emeritus, University of California, Davis

12:55pm - 2:00pm Lunch

2:00pm - 3:30pm What is Sustainable Farming, and What Practices are Used on Your Farm to Make it Sustainable?


  • Jennie Schmidt, Farmer, Schmidt Farms, Inc.; RD, MS
  • Dr. Emma Naluyima, Smallholder Farmer and Veterinarian, One Acre Unlimited
  • Moderator: Raoul Adamchak, Market Garden / CSA Coordinator, Student Farm, University of California, Davis

3:30pm - 3:55pm Coffee and Networking Break

3:55pm - 5:25pm  Fact Checking and Storytelling: What is Really Behind Science Communication?


  • Dr. Sarah Evanega, Director, Cornell Alliance for Science, Cornell University
  • Nathanael Johnson, Senior Writer, Grist
  • Dr. Reem Al Olabi, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Davis
  • Moderator: Jane Metcalfe, Co-Founder Wired Magazine

5:25pm - 5:55pm Graduate Student Talk Showcase (3 student talks) - Shannon Albers, Program, Educational & Outreach Coordinator, IFAL

5:55pm - 6:00pm Concluding Remarks - Professor Pam Ronald

Co-sponsored by the UC Office of the President Global Food Initiative, the Innovation Institute for Food and Health, The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the Cornell Alliance for Science, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Deans Office Programmatic Initiative.