In early December, our office had the great honor of hosting the Director General of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) Ruben G. Echeverría to present the 2018 ACES Distinguished International Lecture.
It was great to see so many students taking advantage of the opportunity to hear Dr. Echeverría speak about “Magical Realism…How to Achieve a Sustainable Food Future” because he was speaking directly to them.
Even with all the work that CIAT, the other research centers within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and many others all over the world are doing towards food security, he implied that a sustainable food future is only possible if the younger people in the room (and many more like them) decide to put their degrees to work “in the agricultural field to save humanity.”
He put a positive spin on this daunting task by saying that this next generation has so many more opportunities than his generation did and emphasizing the untapped potential of technology, which younger people love.
Echeverría noted he initially joined a CGIAR center to do his thesis work but ended up staying on and that students should look at opportunities to use their degrees within these centers.
“No matter your field or topic of interest, we [CGIAR] have a center for you,” he said.