One of the biggest challenges the world is facing these days relates to having sufficient food resources to respond to the increase of global food demand. The Food and Agriculture
Organization projects that by 2050, population and economic growth will
result in a doubling of demand of food globally. We need innovative and robust
food systems to support these growing populations, in order to meet the world food demands, promoting equitable and sustainable global development. The pathway to accomplish that objective relates, for example, with ability to help those countries access international food markets. At the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety or CAHFS, our goal is to protect and enhance food
safety, food security, and economic growth by promoting sustainable production practices, and fair trade of agricultural products – both locally and globally. To achieve these goals, CAHFS has been organized into five programs that span the continuum of food systems grand challenges. The first is leadership and policy. Evaluating policy is a vital first step in order to determine and define the problem that needs to be solved. The second program is international research and development. This program works to build partnerships and develop research projects to address the identified problems. The third program is the Data Analysis and Research Team. This team works to provide quantitative analysis and solutions to the research investigation being done. There are two programs to translate research results into workforce training. One program works with e-learning and online education. CAHFS eLearning courses are designed using innovative practices for technology supported education and distance learning. The other program relates with in-person training and our veterinary public health residency. There have been 41 alumni of the residency program since 2002. A key mission of CAHFS is to create capacity locally and internationally, to build participation in the global trade market. If we could help developing communities to access local and international markets, the long term impact on those communities would be huge. Really we need to build the capacity to achieve and reach sustainable development. It’s similar to analogy of teaching people how to fish instead of giving fish to people. We need to help them to develop their own capacity to generate what they need. That’s why education is important, and that’s why the research we are doing, and implementation of that research into capacity building programs, are important. To help all communities reach those long-term solutions.