August (2018) — Prairie View A&M University entered a new era in agriculture when Endowed Professor Deland J. Myers Sr. received funding in the amount of 5.3 million dollars from the Texas A&M University System Chancellor’s Research Initiative (CRI) to establish the Integrated Food Security Research Center (IFSRC). The new center is the university’s response to the importance of food insecurity not only in Texas but also regionally, nationally, and internationally. Worldwide estimates indicate 1 out of 9 persons are food insecure. In the United States, the persons who are food insecure have been estimated at 12% of the population. Compared to the national average, Texas ranked among the highest at about 17% in 2015. Moreover, the same data showed three counties in the State of Texas — Harris, Dallas, and Tarrant ranked across the nation nos. 4, 6, and 10 respectively — were lacking consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Therefore, the IFSRC will serve the State of Texas well with a focused research effort to address this persistent problem.
The Center will become a learning community where cutting-edge research, spanning the entire food system from production to consumption, is carried out for the benefit of student learning and community outreach. Ensuring the development of a talent pool of professionals to find solutions to alleviate food insecurity, the IFSRC will work with faculty and staff in the College of Agriculture Human Sciences as well as other colleges at PVAMU who have an interest in advancing the cause of providing safe and sustainable food production through comprehensive research strategies. The university also expects to train students who will be the next generation of professionals and leaders who will work to alleviate this problem. Through the IFSRC, Prairie View A&M University will collaborate with state, federal, and nonprofit organizations as well as food and agricultural sector corporations to support the kind of global research that will help communities find solutions to food insecurity.
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