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K-State Today

December 10, 2018

Groundwork laid for international livestock conference at K-State next year

Submitted by Jason Hackett

Kansas State University has been chosen to host the international partnership meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, marking the first time the meeting will be held in the U.S.

The GASL's Multi-Stakeholder Partnership meeting will take place on the Manhattan campus Sept. 8-13, 2019, and will feature plenary sessions, policy discussions, field tours, agenda-setting for the following year and more. More than 350 attendees from around the world, including ministers of agriculture, industry leaders, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, and more, are expected.

The GASL is part of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, based in Rome. It is a recognized platform for sharing good practice and policy and promotes the sustainability of the global livestock sector. Its main principle is that all livestock production systems can be more sustainable, no matter where they are.

In its seven years of existence, the GASL has conducted eight of these meetings on five continents. Last year, the meeting was in Mongolia, and in 2016, Ethiopia was the host. Along with 2019 being the first time the meeting will take place in the U.S., it will also be the first time a university has hosted the conference; all previous meetings were conducted by the host countries' governments.

"There is no better place than Kansas to share with the attendees of the Global Agenda of Sustainable Livestock how a diversity of livestock, from goats and sheep to swine and beef cattle, can be raised on a few acres to several thousand acres to produce safe, nutritious food in a sustainable way," said Susan Metzger, senior executive administrator for the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension.

At the end of November, top leaders from the GASL visited Manhattan to begin planning for the meeting. They met with Metzger, Nina Lilja, associate dean of international agricultural programs for K-State's College of Agriculture, and several other K-State personnel and representatives from the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

The delegation plans to return to Manhattan during the winter to further define plans for the September meeting.