Published on 10/10/16

Veteran foreign correspondent to explore struggle and solutions to feeding the world's growing population

By Merritt Melancon

Roger Thurow, veteran foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and anti-hunger activist, will visit the University of Georgia on Nov. 7 to deliver the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ D.W. Brooks Lecture at 3:30 p.m. in the UGA Center for Continuing Education.

Thurow’s work explains and personalizes the global challenge of feeding a growing population. He explores the ways that science, trade, government policies and armed conflict all impact food scarcity and nutrition security around the world.

“Feeding the world’s growing population is perhaps the greatest global challenge of our time,” said Sam Pardue, UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences dean. “We only have limited time to develop the technologies and policies that will make it possible for the food supply and water resources to keep pace with that growth.”

The D.W. Brooks Lecture is held each year in honor of college alumnus and Gold Kist Inc. founder D.W. Brooks. The lecture will be held this year in conjunction with the D.W. Brooks Awards for Excellence, which recognize college faculty and staff who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the college’s mission of research, instruction and extension.

“The D.W. Brooks Lecture is our opportunity to bring in change-makers who are having an impact on hunger and malnutrition in the real world and to inspire and challenge ourselves to meet the goal of feeding the world’s growing population by the year 2030,” said Amrit Bart, director of global programs for CAES.

Thurow’s 20 years covering political conflict and famine in Europe and Africa for the Wall Street Journal fueled his interest in agricultural development and fighting hunger.

Today Thurow serves as a senior fellow for global food and agriculture on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, but he still sees himself primarily as a journalist and storyteller.

His coverage of famine in Africa earned him a place as finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting in 2003 and accolades from the United Nations. He has written three books on the role of food security in developing nations, the latest focusing on the stories of mothers and children across the globe during the first 1,000 days of the child’s life—a vital window in which nutrition can determine a child’s health and ability.

His talk, “1,000 Days to Change the World: Stories from the Fight to End Early Childhood Malnutrition,” will discuss what is working in the fight to end maternal and childhood malnutrition and challenges that are left to tackle.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to hear from one of the major thought leaders in global food security who approaches this issue from his experience in journalism,” Pardue said. “Hearing from Roger Thurow will offer us a fresh perspective on this problem.”

In addition to Thurow’s talk, the celebration will help recognize 2016’s D.W. Brooks Faculty Awards for Excellence, D.W. Brooks Diversity Awards, CAES Awards and CAES Staff Awards for Excellence. This year’s winners are:

D.W. Brooks Faculty Awards for Excellence

  • Extension: Julia Gaskin
  • Global Programs: Wayne Parrott
  • Public Service Extension: Bill Tyson
  • Research: Tim Brenneman
  • Teaching: Darold Batzer

D.W. Brooks Diversity Awards

  • Department: Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
  • Faculty: Ron Walcott

CAES Awards

  • Outstanding Faculty Advisor: Brian Fairchild
  • Outstanding Staff and Professional Advisor: JoAnne Norris

CAES Staff Awards for Excellence

  • Professional/Administrative: Lindsey Barner
  • Skilled Trades: Carla Barnett
  • Technical: Peter LaFayette

For more information on the D.W. Brooks awards and lecture series, see

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