A new Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES) has opened at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The institute will unify and coordinate researcher, student and stakeholder expertise to address complex food and agricultural issues, such as food security, biodiversity, environmental degradation and, its first assignment, supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19.
Outlining the institute’s important role at this critical time, Gary Thompson, associate dean for research and graduate educations, said, “Now that Covid-19 has revealed serious weaknesses in our agricultural systems — such as supply chain disruptions, processing facility closures, interrupted production practices and threats to food security in vulnerable communities — the institute will be critical in our efforts to ramp up the effectiveness of our science to deal with these unexpected and unprecedented challenges.”
The organization has awarded nine seed grants to researchers to “address the complicated, landscape-level, interconnected challenges presented by the pandemic.”
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