Four former U.S. secretaries of agriculture will discuss meeting the world's food needs when the first Heuermann Lecture of the 2012-2013 season begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln.
The former secretaries are Nebraska's U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, Nebraska native Clayton Yeutter, John Block and Dan Glickman.
"The Land-Grant Mission of 2012 – Transforming Agriculture for the 2050 World" is the topic, amid predictions the world's demand for food will double within the next 30-plus years.
The lecture is the highlight of a week at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which brought land-grant universities into being.
The lecture will stream live at http://heuermannlectures.unl.edu, and will be archived at that site shortly after the lecture. It also will be broadcast nationally on RFD-TV and RURAL TV.
Heuermann (pronounced Hugh-erman) lectures are free, but tickets are required. Free tickets are available by calling the Lied Center ticket office – 402-472-4747 in Lincoln; 1-800-432-3231 outside the Lincoln area. Unclaimed tickets will be released at 7:15 p.m. the night of the lecture.
"This lecture addresses one of the chief challenges of our time," said Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska vice president and Harlan vice chancellor, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which is home to the Heuermann Lectures. "Providing food for an ever-increasing population is a topic of both conscience and self-preservation.
"Having four experts of such stature together doesn't occur often. This is a topic that touches everyone who eats, and where better to host this discussion than in Nebraska, a powerhouse agricultural state."
Johanns was U.S. secretary of agriculture from 2005-2007. During that time he worked to expand foreign market access for U.S. producers, promoted the growth of the renewable fuels industry and advanced cooperative conservation. He developed an in-depth farm bill proposal that became the foundation for improvements and reforms adopted in the 2008 farm bill.
As a senator he serves on five committees, including Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. He served as Nebraska's governor, on the Lancaster County Board, the Lincoln City Council, and as Lincoln's mayor.
Yeutter was U.S. secretary of agriculture from 1989-1991. During that time he steered the 1990 farm bill through Congress, laying the groundwork for a more market-oriented policy structure in American agriculture.
Currently a senior adviser at the law firm of Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., where he practices in the international trade and food agriculture areas, Yeutter also has served as counselor to the president, U.S. trade representative, Republican National Committee chairman and president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Block was U.S. secretary of agriculture from 1981-1985, playing a key role in developing the 1985 farm bill. Before that he built a large and successful hog operation in Illinois, his home state, and served as Illinois director of agriculture. He also has served as president and chief executive officer of Food Distributors International, formerly National American Wholesale Grocers Association.
Now a senior policy adviser at OFW Law in Washington, D.C., he also does a weekly radio commentary titled "John Block Reports from Washington," addressing matters that concern the farm community.
Glickman was U.S. secretary of agriculture from 1995-2001, leading the department in modernizing food safety regulations, forging international trade agreements to expand U.S. markets, and improving its commitment to fairness and equality in civil rights.
Glickman currently is vice president of the Aspen Institute and executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program. For 18 years he represented Kansas's 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.
Jeff Raikes, chief executive officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Green will moderate the discussion. Raikes served as president of Microsoft's Business Division before joining the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 2008 the NU Board of Regents renamed the J.D. Edwards Honors Program in Computer Science and Management the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. He has served on the school's board since it began in 2001.
Green was senior director of Pfizer Animal Health, overseeing global technical services for animal genetics, before joining IANR in 2010. A Virginia native, he has served on animal science faculties at Texas Tech University and Colorado State University; from 2003-2008 he served as the national program leader for animal production research for USDA's Agricultural Research Service.
Heuermann Lectures in IANR at UNL focus on providing and sustaining enough food, natural resources and renewable energy for the people of the world, and on securing the sustainability of rural communities where the vital work of producing food and renewable energy occurs.
Heuermann Lectures are made possible through a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips, long-time university supporters with a strong commitment to Nebraska's production agriculture, natural resources, rural areas and people.