The Universal Food Forum seeks to engage media through stimulating debate and conversations across all perspectives on agricultural and food systems topics and hear a balanced view of food systems from multiple viewpoints. This is an opportunity for an open forum, sponsored by partners across food systems and hosted by Michigan State University, that will include representatives from academia, agriculture, government, industry, the NGO community, media, and development agencies.

The ultimate goal of the Forum is to show the inherent nuance and complexity of today’s agricultural and food systems and learn more about the unique perspectives from a variety of stakeholders. The challenges global food systems face are complex and none of the issues are “black and white”. The Forum will provide an opportunity to dive deeper into these topics and have an open dialogue.

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

7:30 AM to 6:00 PM

EVENT FEES - $295 Per Person

  • Registration is FREE for members of the media, Government employees and academics. Credentials will be verified after registration.
  • No refunds will be made for cancellations or no shows. Registrations may be transferred to another individual.

Thank You to our Sponsors!


CropLife America


CropLife International


American Seed Trade Association
American Feed Industry Association
Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data

Forum Agenda

Time Name Description More Info
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
7:30 AM - 8:30 AMRegistration and Breakfast 
8:30 AM - 9:30 AMWelcome and Keynote Address

Welcome / Introduction

Dr. Douglas Buhler, Office of Research and Innovation, Michigan State University

Keynote - The Misinformation Dilemma: The Intersection Between Science and Food. 
Timothy Caulfield
, Canadian professor of law at the University of Alberta, the research director of its Health Law Institute, and current Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy  



9:30 AM - 10:00 AMBreak 
10:00 AM - 10:45 AMThe Food and Nutritional Security Puzzle

Plenary: The Food and Nutritional Security Puzzle
Food is a basic human right, however, establishing more localized food systems to alleviate food insecurity remains a challenge. How can we unify the production and supply of sufficient food with the ability to provide access to food for all people?

Moderator: Helena Bottemiller Evich, Food Fix 


  • Ramesh Chand, NITI Aayog, Government of India
  • Constance Cullman, American Feed Industry Association
  • Anupama Joshi, Center for Science in the Public Interest
10:45 AM - 11:25 AMClimate Change and the Agri-Food System

Just as there are many ways to farm, there are many thoughts on how we best mitigate climate change. Everyone has their opinion, but is there just one right answer to such a big problem? Will proposed policy and regulatory changes impact how we grow food and provide the balance we need? We’ll explore these questions and more.

Moderator: Teresa Siles, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker 


  • Chip Bowling, Bowling Agri Service Inc
  • Bruno Basso, Michigan State University
  • Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group
11:25 AM - 12:05 PMShocks, Supply Chain Disruptions, and Food Prices

There are many driving forces behind our global food system, such as trade and population growth, and world events like wars and pandemics undeniably impact global food production and security. What lessons can we learn from current events that can help strengthen our food system?

Moderator: David Ortega,Michigan State University


  • Matthew MacLachlan, USDA-ERS
  • Ximena Bustillo, NPR
  • Tom Madrecki, Consumer Brands Association
  • Nick Allen, Own Brands, SpartanNash 
12:05 PM - 1:00 PMNetworking Lunch 
1:00 PM - 1:40 PMAre Facts Even Facts Anymore?

Communicating science is harder than ever, especially in the food space. With the erosion of trust in science, government, businesses, etc., how do we bridge the lack of understanding and show the importance and value of scientific innovation.

Moderator: Anthony LaFauce, Clyde Group


  • Prof. Gassama Yaye Kene, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD), Senegal 
  • Silvia Dmitrescu, International Food Information Council (IFIC)
  • Genevieve O'Sullivan, CropLife America
1:40 PM - 2:20 PMGlobal Regulations and Trade

Food insecurity is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Government policies play a critical role in mitigating or creating food insecurity. In this session, representatives from U.S. agencies, industry, academia will discuss agricultural trade priorities with a focus on those relevant to the pesticide industry and impact of these policies on food insecurity.

Moderator: Bill Tomson, Agri-Pulse


  • Mallory Gaines, American Feed Industry Association
  • Dr. Jason Grant, Virginia Tech
  • Craig Thorn, DTB Associates LLP
2:20 PM - 3:00 PMBuilding Resilient Food Systems - It's Time to Talk Solutions

Building a resilient food system is a complex process requiring innovation and partnership across diverse stakeholders (famers, ranchers, fishers, foragers, food processors, distributors, and consumers) at every step within the food system (food production, distribution, marketing, and consumption). Food systems have always been vulnerable to hazards like pests and bad weather, and with climate-related shocks and stressors adding to existing hazards, this is a critical time to discuss solutions that mitigate these vulnerabilities in a sustainable way to ensure long-term food and nutritional security.

Moderator: Jerry Hagstrom, The Hagstrom Report


  • Md. Arif Hossein, Farming Future Bangladesh
  • Dr. Dru Montri, Feeding America
  • Craig Rickard, Ceresmore Farms Limited
  • Dr. George Smith, Michigan State University 
3:00 PM - 3:30 PMBreak  
3:30 PM - 4:15 PMClosing Session

Closing Keynote and Fireside Chat

•    The Honorable Thomas Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture 
•    Ali Zaidi, National Climate Advisor 


4:15 PM - 4:25 PMVote of Thanks and Way Forward

Dr. Karim Maredia, International Programs, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University

4:30 PM - 5:30 PMNetworking Reception