Agricultural and environmental leaders met at Iowa State University to assess the current state of knowledge on global and regional climate change trends, the effects on agricultural production systems and to consider policies needed to respond to projected long-term trends.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and ISU Extension hosted Climate Change and Its Impact on Food Production and Biofuels March 2 for a day-long meeting that drew 54 participants to campus. A web site has been created that includes presentations from the meeting at:

"We sought the input of those involved in agriculture to help establish a research agenda that can anticipate the needs of producers dealing with climate change," said Joe Colletti, senior associate dean for the college. "Over the next several months, we will post new information as development of our roadmap for research, education and outreach proceeds."

Presentations featured the most current science being generated by scientists in several fields relating to climate science, production agriculture and economic policy. Following the overview sessions, the participants were asked for their insight in developing a roadmap for the research, education and outreach efforts and the collaborations and partnerships that will be needed to address questions that must be answered to help sustain the vitality of U.S. and Iowa agriculture.

Roundtable discussions dealt with the subject areas of carbon offset economic models and decision tools; climate models; crop production mitigation and adaptation; and animal agriculture mitigation and adaptation.

Duane Acker, president emeritus of Kansas State University and former assistant secretary of Agriculture for Science and Education, was the keynote speaker presenting on why climate change is important to agriculture.

The forum was sponsored by the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, ISU Extension, ISU Bioeconomy Institute, ISU Biobased Industry Center, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, the 25x'25 Alliance, the Soil and Water Conservation Society and the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment.