During a recent speech to the attendees of CAST’s Annual Fall Meeting in Des Moines, World Food Prize (WFP) President Kenneth Quinn made it clear that the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) should remain an important part of the annual WFP week-long event. Standing under a huge portrait of Norman Borlaug in the WFP Hall of Laureates, Ambassador Quinn pointed out CAST’s connections with the “man who saved millions.” He also noted that CAST delivers clear, science-based information about agriculture, and it honors influential communicators through its Borlaug CAST Communication Award (BCCA).
Many in agriculture emphasize the billions of people who must be fed in the future, but the future is now if you are a starving child. That is why events like the World Food Prize are so important. The annual gathering in Des Moines, Iowa, acknowledges the past legacy of pioneers like Dr. Borlaug while honoring dedicated ag/science experts of the present–those working hard to put food on tables. The WFP also focuses on the future–with speeches, programs, and recognition of the talented young people who are building on the foundations others have constructed.
Since 2010, CAST has played a small but important role in the WFP movement, with its presentation of the Borlaug CAST Communication Award. Well-respected researchers, diplomats, and academics have won the award, but all have one thing in common: they convey important information to the public and policymakers alike.
During the October 14 BCCA event honoring the 2015 recipient, Dr. Prakash, Ambassador Quinn emphasized CAST’s contributions. “We need to build roads if we want to feed people.” His roads include technology and communication, and he recognizes that CAST plays a needed role in publishing credible ag/science material–and in conveying that information.
CAST EVP Kent Schescke summed it up this way: “We appreciate the opportunity to present the Borlaug CAST Communication Award as an important side event to the World Food Prize celebration; this provides the opportunity to link the important roles of science and technology in addressing the challenges of global food security.”
BCCA recipients in photo (top left clockwise): Jeff Simmons 2013, Carl Winter 2012, Alison Van Eenennaam 2014, Akin Adesina 2010, Catherine Bertini 2011, and Channapatna Prakash 2015.