Celebrating Crop Diversity: Connecting Agriculture, Public Gardens, and Science

Tuesday April 2 to Thursday April 4, 2019
Des Moines, Iowa
Hosts: World Food Prize Foundation and Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Tuesday April 2, 2019

Optional Field Trip

8am- 4:30 pm
Field trips will take attendees on exclusive access tours to learn about genebanking, crop wild relatives, and enjoy beautiful public gardens.

SEEDS & CROP GENETICS: Exploring Diversity and Innovation in Ames, Iowa and Johnston City, Iowa

Ames is home to Iowa State University, which ranks among the best in the world for agricultural programs. To feed the future we must first seed the future, so our first stop will be the ISU Seed Science Center, a global center of excellence for seed science, technology and systems. Underpinning productive seed is genetic diversity, which gene banks conserved and make available. Our second stop will be the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, one of our nation’s largest gene banks, home to important collections of corn, sunflower, vegetables and ornamental trees and shrubs. Seed not only nourishes our bodies, but also nourishes our minds. Our third and last stop will be Reiman Gardens, one of the finest and unique gardens in the country, with a mission to educate, enchant, and inspire an appreciation of plants, butterflies, and the beauty of the natural world. Lunch will be provided.

Corteva Agriscience is one of the most successful science and engineering companies in the world, and Johnston, Iowa is headquarters for the Corteva R & D center, which is dedicated to advanced crop genetics. On this tour we’ll be exploring the innovative science and technology that is the engine for Corteva growth. We’ll be visiting the greenhouses, seed treatment facility and molecular marker lab. The tour will conclude at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, which showcases the diversity of tropical and temperate flora, including outstanding collections of Bonsai, coleus and Plectranchus and orchids. Lunch will be provided.

Welcome Reception at Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

5-7 pm 
Join us to officially kick-off the Symposium with an evening reception at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Enjoy light fare and drinks paired with many new friends and colleagues in an inviting setting! Established in 2013, the Botanical Garden has a reputation as a dynamic, innovative institution that pushes horticultural boundaries and activates its work through high quality guest experiences, educational programming and community outreach. Garden experiences showcase the diversity of tropical and temperate flora from around the world with a particular emphasis on Midwestern native plants. Other significant collections include bonsai, coleus and Plectranthus, and orchids.
Dinner on your own in the East Village, Des Moines

Wednesday April 3, 2019

Breakfast served at Embassy Suites
All sessions will be held a short walk from the hotel at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates

Plenary Talk with Marie Haga, Executive Director of the Global Crop DiversityTrust

The world's largest initiative on crop wild relative conservation and use – involving over 40 countries and spanning research, collecting, conservation, information systems, pre-breeding, and communications – is nearing its finalization after a decade of effort. Marie Haga, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which managed the initiative in collaboration with the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, will provide an overview of the work accomplished to date and outline the efforts needed in the coming years – particularly in North America – to accomplish international goals to collect, protect, and use globally important crop wild relatives.

Coffee Break

9:30 am – THE ROTUNDA

General Session: Inspiring Partnerships on Crop Wild Relatives: Conservation, Use, and Outreach

10:00 -11:00 am – RUAN LAUREATES ROOM
By their nature, effectively conserving, using and raising awareness about crop wild relatives requires partnerships across research, conservation, land management, public gardens, and other organizations. In this session Dr. Allison Miller and Dr. Wendy Hodgson provide their perspectives on successful initiatives built on diverse collaborations across institutions.
Presenters: A. Miller, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO; W. Hodgson, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ

General Session: Crop Wild Relatives: North American Perspectives

There are crop wild relatives growing right here in our North American backyard. Many have proven extremely useful to scientists and plant breeders, but still more remain undiscovered in the wild. Scientists and public gardens are already working together to document, conserve, and make crop wild relatives available for use across the continent. Learn about a shared roadmap towards a conserving North American crop wild relatives for the future.
Presenters: P. Bretting, USDA ARS National Plant Germplasm System, Beltsville, MD; Axel Diederichsen, Plant Gene Resources of Canada & Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Saskatoon SK Canada; F. De La Torre, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agricolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP) Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico S. Greene, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, National Laboratory for Genetic Resource Preservation, Fort Collins, CO; Colin Khoury, International Center for Tropical Agriculture – CIAT, Cali, Colombia



Concurrent Breakout Sessions

1:00-2:30 pm 
(Two Options)

Crop Wild Relatives: Developing a Roadmap to Shared Destinations

Achieving comprehensive conservation, use, and public awareness with regard to North America's crop wild relatives will require concerted efforts in the coming years. In this interactive session, a road map outlining priorities for these efforts and for the collaborations needed for their success will be presented for inputs and discussion. The accompanying presentations highlight the Bureau of Land Management’s efforts to secure native plant seed for revegetation, and the U.S. Botanical Garden’s perspective on wild useful plants, both initiatives that support the conservation of crop wild relatives. A World Café session to facilitate the engagement will conclude the session.
Presenters: T. Moreau, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.; S. Greene, USDA-Agricultural Research Service National Laboratory for Genetic Resource Preservation, Fort Collins, CO; P. Olwell, Bureau of Land Management, Washington, D.C.; Colin Khoury, International Center for Tropical Agriculture – CIAT, Cali, Colombia; S. Chapotin, United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.

Communicating Science and Controversy in Agriculture 

The science underpinning advancements in food, agriculture, and horticulture is no longer uncontroversial, and the role public gardens play in communicating plant science to the public is more important than ever. But public gardens are shying away from controversial exhibits featuring GMOs and climate change for fear of alienating visitors. Build your confidence in communicating controversial but important topics in this session, featuring Steve Snyder, a museum director with case studies from the Fleet Science Center, and Sabine O’Hara, the Dean of landmark, interdisciplinary college at the University of the District of Columbia who advocates for community outreach on the less obviously controversial issues of food deserts, organic farming practices, and growing culturally appropriate food.
Presenters: S. Snyder, Fleet Science Center, San Diego, CA; S. O'Hara, University of the District of Columbia, DC; S. States, Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Garden, Pittsburgh, PA

General Session Engaging New Youth Audiences towards Careers in Agriculture, Horticulture, and Natural Resource Science 

2:45-3:45 pm – RUAN LAUREATES ROOM
Plant blindness is real. Few young people are interested, or even seeing, the plants around them. Increasing agricultural and horticultural literacy for all young people is critical for filling the plentiful career opportunities in the food and agriculture industries with diverse graduates, and there is an important role for public gardens to play in partnership with academic institutions to reach students from all backgrounds. This session will address how these partnerships have offered programs with real-world impacts, and the coordinators and students themselves will talk about how to expand the number of students interested in pursuing careers in Agriculture, Horticulture, and Natural Resource Science. Whether working in fully equipped micropropogation and DNA laboratories alongside scientists or researching edible plants in partnership with NASA, these programs demonstrate a vast potential for partnerships with public gardens.
Presenters: A. Padolf, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL; W. Fett, National Agriculture in the Classroom, Des Moines, IA; S. Perry and L. Li, John Bowne High School, Flushing, NY; K. Kautzky, The World Food Prize Foundation, Des Moines, IA

Speed Networking Event 

4:00- 5:00 pm – 2nd Floor Mezzanine
All are encouraged to participate in this fast-paced idea generator. You’ll contribute knowledge, talent, or both to epic future exhibits, programs, and events!

Dinner Meet-ups 

6:00 pm:
Pre-arranged topic discussions will take place at local restaurants.

Thursday April 4, 2019

Breakfast served at Embassy Suites
All sessions will be held a short walk from the hotel, at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates

Plenary Talk with Gary Nabhan

internationally-celebrated nature writer, agrarian activist and ethnobiologist who tangibly works on conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity.
During eras of political, economic, and environmental stress, humanity turns to consider a broader range of options than typically employed during “business as usual.” This is one of those times – when agriculture needs to re-diversify to add resilience to the food system that we depend on for survival. A wide array of activities led by a broad diversity of land managers, botanists, indigenous harvesters, farmers, and many others are illuminating the way forward. This is “conservation you can taste,” where what is saved and restored is also savored. Gary Paul Nabhan, W.K. Kellogg endowed chair in borderlands food and water security at the University of Arizona, will take us on a journey of discovery around North America to celebrate efforts that are bringing people together to renew and care for the foods they enjoy.

Coffee Break

9:30 am – THE ROTUNDA

General Session: Exhibits: Building Partnership for Incorporating Agriculture and Cutting Edge Science into Public Garden Exhibits

10:00 -11:00 am – RUAN LAUREATES ROOM
With 80% of people living in cities, a major challenge to educating the public about agriculture and related sciences is lack of access to agricultural landscapes. Gardens have an incredible opportunity to create agriculture themed displays and exhibits for an urban public hungry to learn about agriculture, but who lack access to agricultural spaces. In this session, experts in science and informal education will present on the state of agricultural exhibits throughout the U.S. and provide insights on designing agriculture themed exhibits, including the highly successful “Dig It! The Secrets of Soil” exhibit presented by the Smithsonian Institution.
Presenters: K. Stofer, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; P. Megonigal, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD

General Session: Building Better Plants: Breeding with Crop Wild Relatives

Crop wild relatives are indispensable reservoirs of traits that breeders use to build better plants, but how exactly do the traits from wild relatives find their way into the foods we eat? Hear from breeders Nick Vorsa, the Director of the Marucci Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center at Rutgers University, and Matthew Clark, Assistant Professor of Grape Breeding and Enology at the University of Minnesota, who are using crop wild relatives to improve North American crops.
Presenters: N.Vorsa, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; M. Clark, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN



Concurrent Breakout Sessions

1:00-2:00 pm
(Two Options)

International and Legal Aspects of Crop Wild Relative Germplasm Collection and Transportation to the U.S. 

Botanical/public gardens are specifically cited by the UN Environmental Programme through its surrogate Botanic Garden Conservation International, to conserve and collect crop wild relatives via the International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation to contribute to several targets of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. The session will be highly interactive on the challenges and opportunities for the collection and conservation of crop wild relatives internationally. Success stories will be shared by our two expert plant explorers. Participants will learn how to plan, collect and import wild seed into the U.S.A. 
Presenters: K. Williams, USDA Plant Exchange Office, Beltsville, MD; C. Husby, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL

Connecting University Educators with Public Gardens through Interpretive Agricultural Programs 

Public Gardens are predominantly located in urban areas and are the largest deliverers of plant-based informal education to the general public in these areas. American universities have been world leaders in advancing agriculture to meet the challenges of an increasing worldwide urban population. However, as urban populations continue to grow, public awareness of challenges and opportunities that agriculture and food systems confront continues to diminish. Two case studies will be presented describing how gardens and university educators have collaborated to enhance public knowledge about agricultural systems and their importance to society and the environment.
Presenters: K. Socolofsky, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, Davis, CA; P. Moe, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, MN

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

2:15-3:45 pm
(Two Options)

The Roadmap to Crop Wild Relatives: Getting to Our Destination 

Achieving comprehensive conservation, use, and public awareness with regard to North America's crop wild relatives will require concerted efforts in the coming years. Presentations from the USDA Forest Service and Ornamental plant germplasm and breeding (The Ohio State University) detailing current efforts and constraints in conserving and using CWR will be followed by an interactive session that synthesizes inputs gathered over the previous days of the Symposium to finalize a road map outlining priorities and collaborations needed to secure North American CWR. The session will conclude with a listing of actionable items for moving forward.
Presenters: P. Jourdan, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; C. Spurrier, US Forest Service, Washington, D.C.

Using Agriculture to Engage and Enhance Communities

Agriculture in an urban context can be a conduit for synchronizing municipal, NGO, university and even for-profit entities towards collective community impacts. Addressing training and workforce development, food access, and nutrition improvement requires hard work and strong partnerships. How do workforce development programs using agriculture as an integrated hands-on component address financial sustainability, replicability, and scale? How can food prescription programs specifically address nutritional deficiency using science based evaluation? What role does policy play in many of these projects, through land access, leasing agreements or ordinances relating to city held property and water access? This panel will address how partnerships between public gardens and the agroecology community can build food security and social justice while addressing operational challenges.
Presenters: A. Mason, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL; D. Chavis, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA; S. O'Hara, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.; J.S. Kuehny, LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens At Burden, Baton Rouge, LA 

General Session: Celebrating a Roadmap and Closing Statements 

4:00-5:00 pm – RUAN LAUREATES ROOM

Symposium Concludes 

5:00 pm

Please note that the program is not finalized and is at this time subject to change.