Martin Wiedmann Announced as the 2022 Borlaug CAST Communication Award Recipient

May 10, 2022 | Council for Agricultural Science and Technology—Ames, Iowa

Dr. Martin Wiedmann

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) has announced the 2022 Borlaug CAST Communication Award goes to Dr. Martin Wiedmann, Gellert Family Professor of Food Safety, Department of Food Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. He is currently an associate director at the Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center at Cornell University and co-director at the New York Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence.

Wiedmann dedicates his attention and efforts not only to creating valuable science in the area of food safety and science, but also to communicating these findings to the food industry and policymakers. He is a coveted guest lecturer and speaker, as demonstrated by his large number of invited presentations, media citations, and radio and TV interviews. His team is passionate about communicating research findings to a range of audiences from pre-K to industry leaders and is regularly asked to help the food industry with a range of microbial food safety and quality challenges. It has also been said that Wiedmann has the gift of communicating technical information to non-technical audiences.

Wiedmann’s style is extremely effective in both conveying information to the intended audience, as well as stimulating discussion and questions around key food safety issues. He was instrumental in helping organize and lead a COVID-19 Food Safety Response Team through Cornell University. This team, in partnership with regulatory personnel and industry experts, took on the mission of helping the food industry with challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Using online communication platforms and tools, the team developed concise, science-based messaging about COVID-19 for the food industry and consumers and provided guidance on implementing appropriate mitigation strategies.

Wiedmann received a veterinary degree and a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, and a Ph.D. in food science from Cornell University. Wiedmann is a nationally and internationally recognized researcher. To date, he has nearly 450 peer-reviewed publications and more than 31,000 citations. His research interests focus on farm-to-table microbial food quality and food safety and the application of molecular tools to study the transmission of foodborne pathogens and spoilage organisms, including translation of the associated research findings into reducing foodborne illnesses and food spoilage. He has been described as an exceptional and effective educator and mentor who has graduated more than 60 Masters and doctoral students. Many of his prior students and staff on his team are excellent communicators thanks to his influence and now hold leadership positions in industry, government, academia, and nonprofits around the world.

The official presentation of the award will take place at a special side-event during the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue event in Des Moines, Iowa, in October. The Borlaug CAST Communication Award honors the legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Prize winner and author of the first CAST publication, and Dr. Charles A. Black, the first executive vice president of CAST. It is presented annually for outstanding achievement by a scientist, engineer, technologist, or other professional working in the agricultural, environmental, or food sectors for contributing to the advancement of science through communication in the public policy arena.

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