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K-State Today

October 15, 2019

Bring a brownbag for Thomas Hertel's presentation 'Global-to-Local-to-Global Analysis of Agricultural Sustainability'

Submitted by Erin Pennington

The Global Food Systems Initiative invites all Kansas State University students, faculty and staff to a brownbag lunch presentation by Thomas Hertel, distinguished professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. Hertel will provide an interdisciplinary presentation on the "Global-to-Local-to-Global Analysis of Agricultural Sustainability" at noon Friday, Oct. 18, in 137 Waters Hall.

"The pressure on U.S. farmers to produce more output has led to the unsustainable use of land and water resources in many locations," Hertel said. "Intensification of production has resulted in large amounts of nitrogen loading to surface and groundwater. Elevated nitrogen levels in streams and rivers cause a spectrum of different problems including biodiversity loss, crop yield loss, and hazards to human health. Nutrients transported through the Mississippi River Basin have been blamed for the 'dead' zones formed in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to water quality challenges, water availability poses a challenge for long-run agricultural sustainability in the United States. Average surface water supplies are predicted to continue declining."

This seminar will focus on U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded research aimed at understanding the global drivers of local long-run sustainability stresses in U.S. agriculture and the global consequences of local, regional and national responses to these stresses.

"Groundwater withdrawals exceed recharge rates on 15% of U.S. lands and most of these withdrawals are for irrigated agriculture. These reductions in groundwater storage could threaten the nation's ability to meet future water needs," Hertel said.

Hertel's research and teaching focus is on international trade, climate change, food and environmental security. He also is a fellow and a past president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Hertel serves as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the founder and executive director of the Global Trade Analysis Project, which now encompasses more than 19,000 researchers in 175 countries around the world. This project maintains a global economic database and an applied general equilibrium modeling framework which are documented in the book, "Global Trade Analysis: Modeling and Applications," edited by Hertel and published by Cambridge University Press.

For questions or more information about this lecture, email Maureen Olewnik at molewnik@k-state.edu.