January 27, 2015

Contact: AnnMarie Cornejo

Director of U.S.D.A. National Institute of Food and Agriculture to Talk Feb. 3 at Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO -- The director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will speak on the future of agriculture from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, in the Advanced Technology Laboratories (Building 7), Keck Lab (Room 2), on campus.

Sonny Ramaswamy will present, “Setting the Table for a Flatter, Hotter, More Crowded Earth.” His talk will focus on the challenges that the must be overcome to feed, clothe and shelter a global population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 without wreaking havoc on the environment. A question-and-answer session and reception will follow his presentation.

Ramaswamy was appointed director of the U.S.D.A’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in 2012. He oversees the award of NIFA funds for a wide range of extramural research, education and extension projects that address the needs of farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers.

He has received many research grants from industry, commodity groups and state and federal agencies, including the U.S.D.A., National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ramaswamy has published nearly 150 journal articles, book chapters, and a book. Among his numerous awards and honors as a scientist and department head, he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America; and a Distinguished Graduate Alumnus of Cook College, Rutgers University.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and a master’s in entomology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India. He earned a doctorate in entomology from Rutgers University. He is also a graduate of the University of Nebraska’s New Academic Chair’s Program and Harvard University’s Management Development Program.

The free event is open to the public. It is hosted by Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences.

About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university located in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative students ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories including ranchland, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. These living laboratories, combined with the attention of expert faculty members dedicated to their students’ success, offer a powerful combination of rigorous academics with hands-on experiences that lead to fulfilling careers. For more information, visit