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Lunch-N-Learn Series

Lunch-N-Learn Series

Over the years, NCFAR has hosted tens of thousands of attendees at hundreds of seminars and webinars. The goal of these signature events is to educate and empower staff on Capitol Hill and policy stakeholders about the value of public investment in food and agricultural research. NCFAR’s popular "Lunch-N-Learn" series and webinars feature experts from institutions across the country sharing expertise on a wide range of topics. 

Register for upcoming events or review recent topics and presentations in the below archive.

  • 2023

    • Tuesday, July 11, 2023 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time

      Lunch-N-Learn: How to Protect Endangered Species While Feeding the World

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      Session sponsors: Weed Science Society of America, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Extension Committee on Policy, CropLife America, and Syngenta. Collaborators: National Corn Growers Association and American Soybean Association.

      How can research help strike a balance between protecting threatened and endangered species and minimizing impacts to farmers and their crop protection products that produce food, feed, and fiber for the world?

      When federal agencies determine that a pesticide might adversely affect a listed species in a given county, farmers in that entire county might be excluded from using that pesticide, even though the listed species or its critical habitat might only occupy a small fraction of that county.

      This seminar will reflect on how research by EPA, USDA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service can help address this challenge.


      Bill Chism, Weed Science Society

      Bill is the chair of the Endangered Species Committee of the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA).  Bill grew up working on a vegetable farm in the Salinas Valley of California.  He worked for the University of California extension conducting weed control research on vegetable crops.  After receiving his PhD in Weed Science from Virginia Tech he worked for 10 years for a pesticide registrant.  He spent 21 years at the EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) conducting assessments on the benefits of pesticides to farmers as part of the registration review process.  During his career at the EPA, he was been involved in assessments of over 350 different pesticides.  


      Bill received an BS in Entomology from the University of California Davis, a MS in Agriculture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a MS in Plant Physiology at UC Riverside and a PhD in Weed Science at Virginia Tech.  He lives in Frederick County Maryland with his wife, two cats, two dogs, and four horses.  Bill recently won the Public Service Award from the WSSA, and has received numerous awards from the State Department and EPA for his work on the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

      Stanley Culpepper, University of Georgia

      Stanley Culpepper is a Professor in the Crop and Soil Science Department at The University of Georgia with a 98% Extension responsibility. A native of North Carolina, he grew up on a bicentennial family farm producing corn, cotton, peanut, soybean, and wheat. He received his BS in Agronomy and his MS and PhD in weed science from N. C. State University. Stanley began his professional career at The University of Georgia as a cotton, vegetable, and small grain weed scientist in 1999, and continues with those responsibilities today. Stanley’s ultimate goal is to develop and share sound science with family farms improving their sustainability.  


      Because of Stanley’s efforts, he is a frequent speaker at events across the country. Stanley has been honored to win over thirty awards including the EPA’s Montreal Protocol International Award for assisting in the preservation of the ozone layer. Stanley has also served three terms on the U.S. EPA Agricultural Science Committee Advisory Board and is currently the Past President of the Weed Science Society of America.


      About NCFAR’s Lunch-N-Learn Series:


      The National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (NCFAR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, consensus-based, and customer-led coalition that brings together food, agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and natural resource stakeholders to serve as a forum and unified voice supporting increased federal investment in USDA Research, Education, and Economics (USDA REE). NCFAR’s popular "Lunch-N-Learn" series and webinars feature experts from institutions across the country sharing expertise on a wide range of topics to show the value of public investment in food and agricultural research. This event will be held in-person at 1302 Longworth House Office Building.


      Please click here to RSVP.

  • 2022

    • Friday, December 16, 2022 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time

      NCFAR Virtual Lunch-N-Learn: The Role of USDA Research in U.S. Agricultural Trade and Competitiveness

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      Series sponsors: Eversole Associates, Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP), and SoAR Foundation

      Investment in scientific and economic research are critical to U.S. agricultural trade and competitiveness in the global marketplace. As a net producer of many agricultural products, the United States helps feed the world.  Likewise, robust trade strengthens America’s agriculture economy as a whole and the many communities that contribute their bounty and talents to it. The U.S. agriculture community, from research institutions to producers to policy makers, are deeply invested in and support a science-based approach to trade and food import policies. Join us to learn more about how USDA research contributes to America’s agriculture leadership and our nation’s ability to navigate the international trade challenges that lie ahead.


      Jeanne F. Bailey
      Deputy Administrator, Trade Policy and Geographic Affairs
      USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

      Mark Slupek
      Deputy Administrator, Global Programs
      USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

      Keith Fuglie
      Senior Economist
      USDA Economic Research Service

      Michael Anderson
      Vice President, Trade & Industry Relations
      Corn Refiners Association

    • Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time

      NCFAR Virtual Lunch-N-Learn: Adapting to Climate Change: Wildfire, Outdoor Recreation, and Rural Communities in the American West

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      Series sponsors: Eversole Associates, Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP), and SoAR Foundation


      Over the past several decades, wildfire activity in the western United States has increased dramatically. At the same time, many rural communities in the region have become increasingly dependent on outdoor recreation to drive their local economies. This research project investigates relationships between wildfire, outdoor recreation, and rural economic activity in the western U.S. Using ten years of daily data on recreation on federal lands, we analyze the effects of wildfires and wildfire smoke on recreation site use. We then use data on employment in individual business establishments to estimate the effects of wildfires on local economies. The research provides new information on how wildfires and wildfire smoke are driving impacts to recreation-dependent rural communities.


      Speaker Biography:

      Margaret Walls, Ph.D, is a Senior Fellow with Resources for the Future. Walls’ current research focuses on issues related to resilience and adaptation to extreme events, ecosystem services, and conservation, parks and public lands. Walls’s work on resilience assesses the factors that affect household location decisions in coastal areas, how individuals perceive flood risks, and how risk perceptions affect adaptation decisions. She has estimated the value of natural lands—such as wetlands—in providing protection from hurricanes and flooding, and is assessing the extent to which hurricanes affect U.S. migration patterns.


      For more information, visit the RFF website to view the video archive from "Sparking Solutions," a three-part webinar series focused on finding equitable, effective, and workable policies to address the growing threat of wildfires in the United States. 

    • Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time

      NCFAR Leadership Latte-N-Learn Featuring Under Secretary Chavonda Jacobs-Young

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      This Latte-N-Learn webinar was held on September 15 at 10 a.m. eastern and featured USDA Under Secretary Chavonda Jacobs-Young and the leadership at ARS, ERS, NASS, and NIFA . Watch the video archive to learn how USDA's research community is working to advance climate-smart agriculture and nutrition security.

    • Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time

      NCFAR Virtual Lunch-N-Learn: Helping Americans Meet the Dietary Guidelines - Advances and Opportunities in Food Science and Technology

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      Series sponsors: Eversole Associates, Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP), and SoAR Foundation

      For more than 40 years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) have provided science-based guidance for healthy eating, yet the quality of American diets has shown limited improvement. In 2021 a diverse group of thought leaders in health, nutrition and food science convened at a workshop hosted by IFT and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, supported by USDA/NIFA, to discuss opportunities to help consumers meet dietary guidelines. Key opportunities identified included advancing food science and technology research and broadening public-private collaborations to develop safe, affordable, and accessible, nutrient dense foods. This webinar will discuss these key recommendations in greater detail and what steps can be taken to advance innovations and empower consumers to make positive shifts towards healthier diets.

      Speaker Biography:

      Dr. Noel E. Anderson is managing partner of Mosaic Food Advisors LLC which helps start-up companies in the food and beverage arena succeed in the marketplace. Previously, Noel spent 19 years in Research & Development at PepsiCo and 18 years at General Foods/Kraft. 

      After receiving his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Food Science and Nutrition Noel stayed actively engaged with the Food Science Department. Noel served on its Industrial Advisory Board for more than 20 years, with 16 years as its Chairperson. During this time the department raised over $12 million, and its Graduate Program achieved the #1 ranking in the US. He received the UMass Amherst Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award in 2011. 

      Noel is also very active in the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). He currently serves as the 2020-2021 Past President of the 13,000-member association and was elected as an IFT Fellow in 2010. Previously Noel served   as a trustee and then chair of the Board of Trustees for Feeding Tomorrow, IFT’s foundation. 

      Noel divides his time between Stamford, Connecticut and Westerly, Rhode Island.


    • Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time

      NCFAR Virtual Lunch-N-Learn: Evaluating End-Use Potential for Process Food Wastes

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      Series sponsors: Eversole Associates, Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP), and SoAR Foundation

      Process food waste is generated by large-scale food producers and is generally comprised of inedible portions of organic matter like fruit and vegetable trimmings, skins and peels, and brewing and wine waste. Diversion of these wastes from the landfill to higher value products can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and give additional value to a once discarded source. Process food waste is rich in carbon and often contain various nutraceuticals or bioactive compounds that can be recovered. Alternatively, the process food waste can be upgraded to methane via anaerobic digestion.           

      Speaker Biography:
      Dr. Abigail Engelberth is an Assistant Professor in Agricultural and Biological Engineering and in Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University. She earned a B.S. and M.E. in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Engelberth was a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Maine and built a process model to emulate the conversion of hemicellulose into liquid fuels via anaerobic digestion. Dr. Engelberth’s research focuses on three sections:  identifying new bioproducts or new sources from which to obtain existing bioproducts; developing methods to recover bioproducts; and modeling the recovery and purification steps in order to effectively scale-up the process.

    • Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time

      NCFAR Virtual Lunch-N-Learn: The Impact of Climate Change on Agricultural Production and Rural Communities

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      Series sponsors: Eversole Associates, Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP), and SoAR Foundation


      Climate change is impacting rural America from the arid west to the humid east. America’s agricultural producers are living with intensifying droughts, wildfires, temperature extremes, floods, hail, hurricanes, and reduced winter snowpack all of which increase production risks. Of significance, aquifer levels in arid and semi-arid production regions are no longer meeting crop water demands, and in many cases no longer a viable water source for rural communities. The presentation will address Climate Smart practices that are being investigated in the Texas High Plains and emphasize the impacts of reduced agricultural production on America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.        


      Speaker Biography:

      Dr. Jourdan Bell is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University in Amarillo, Texas. Dr. Bell’s extension and research efforts focus on agronomic management to improve crop production and profitability on the Texas High Plains. Her extension activities include assisting county extension agents with demonstration trials as well as compiling and presenting results for regional producers through trial reports and county programs. Her research portfolio focuses on crop selection and agronomic practices in sorghum, wheat, cotton, and corn systems on the Texas High Plains in the face of declining regional groundwater levels. Dr. Bell earned her PhD in soil science from Texas A&M University and a M.S. in plant, soil, and environmental science form West Texas A&M University. Dr. Bell is actively involved with the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America as well as Women in Science Endeavors (WISE).

    • Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time

      NCFAR Latte-N-Learn: NASS & ERS

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      NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer and ERS Administrator Spiro Stefanou 

    • Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time

      NCFAR Latte-N-Learn Series: NIFA

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      NIFA Director Carrie Castille & Senior Leadership Team

    • Thursday, February 3, 2022

      USDA REE Latte-N-Learn Series - ARS

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      USDA ARS Associate Administrator Steve Kappes

  • 2021

    • Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time

      Animal Protein: From Pen/Feedlot/Barn Or From a Petri-Dish/Lab?

      Ken Olson, FASS
      Keith Belk, Professor and Head, Department of Animal Science and Adjunct Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health

    • Monday, July 26, 2021 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time

      Hacking Photosynthesis

      Charlie Messina, Corteva Agriscience
      Lisa Ainsworth, Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit, USDA, ARS

    • Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time

      The Role of Agricultural Science and Technology in Climate 21 Project Implementation

      CAST Webinar, Co-Hosted By NCFAR

      David Baltensperger, Texas A&M University
      Zhengxia Dou, University of Pennsylvania
      Marty Matlock, University of Arkansas
      Debbie Reed, Ecosystem Services
      Alex Thomasson, Mississippi State University
      Juan Tricarico, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

    • Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time

      Strengthening Climate Change Adaption, Mitigation, and Resilience through Cooperative Extension

      Roslynn Brain McCann, Utah State University, Moab, Utah
    • Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time

      USDA Research Investments - ERS/NASS

      Spiro Sterfanou, USDA, ERS Administrator, Washington, D.C.
      Herbert Hamer, USDA, NASS Administrator, Washington, D.C.
      Barb Glenn, NASDA CEO, Arlington, Virginia

    • Monday, March 22, 2021 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time

      USDA Research Investments - ARS

      Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA, ARS, Washington, D.C.
      Alice H. Lichtenstein, USDA, ARS, Washington, D.C.
      Russell W. Jessup, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

    • Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time

      USDA Research Investments - NIFA

      Carrie Castille, USDA, NIFA, Washington, D.C.
      Bret Hess, Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, Reno, Nevada
      Susan Ballabina, Texas A&M AgriLife, Stephenville, Texas
      Jason Henderson, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
      Vonda Richardson, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida
      Alton Thompson, Executive Director, Association of 1890s Research Directors, Tuskegee, Alabama
      Brian Kowalkowski, College of Menominee Nation, Keshena, Wisconsin

  • 2020

    • Monday, July 13, 2020

      Catching Up With the CRISPR Craze, Applications of Genome Editing in Ag and Beyond

      Rodolphe Barrangou, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
    • Wednesday, June 17, 2020

      Plant Science Decadal Vision 2020 - 2030

      David Stern, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
      Samantha Shoaf Miller, Beck's Hybrids, Atlanta, Indiana

    • Monday, June 8, 2020

      Slowing the Spread of Harmful Algal Blooms

      Ken Wagner, Water Resource Services Inc. Wilbraham, Massachusetts
    • Wednesday, May 13, 2020

      Advancing Farm Animal Management with Improved Methods to Recognize and Manage Pain

      Hans Coetzee, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
    • Thursday, February 20, 2020

      Plant Breeding for Food Safety

      Allen Van Deynze, University of California, Davis, California