Land O’Lakes President and CEO Beth Ford was the guest speaker for the May 8 Heuermann Lecture at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Neb., which coincided with the 2023 Water for Food Conference and she shared why water is at the top of her priority list.
“Food security is national security,” Ford said. “Fresh water demand will outstrip supply by 2030 by 56% globally, and water is critical to production agriculture, it’s critical to communities and to life.”
Ford also said that to meet the grand challenge of feeding 10 billion people by 2050, more agricultural research funding is needed. While GMOs have increased yields by 25%, Ford said we’ve nearly maximized the increase in production that they can provide. However, she said research funding is still at 1970s levels, while we simultaneously face an unprecedented challenge of population growth, climate change, water crisis, and food insecurity.
She also addressed the need for more agricultural laborers to ensure all available food is harvested and all available acres are planted.
Listen to a recording of Ford’s fireside chat with Dr. Tiffany Heng-Moss, dean of the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
2023 Water for Food interview - Heuermann Lecture with Beth Ford, Land O'Lakes 1:03:35
View photos from the event here:
2023 Water for Food Global Conference