Robert Fraley
Robert Fraley

Monsanto Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley will speak at the final Heuermann Lecture of the 2014-2015 season at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln April 21.

The lecture topic is "2050: Agriculture's Role in Mitigating Global Challenges." The population is expected to reach 9.5 billion people by 2050. That number includes about 3 billion people who will be entering the middle class who will want access to a balanced meal for their family. As climate patterns, planting zones, plant diseases and pest pressures fluctuate and shift, further strains are put on natural resources including water and its availability. These issues could become the greatest challenges for food security in the history of agriculture.Fraley, a 2013 World Food Prize Laureate, will speak at 3:30 p.m. at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center, 2021 Transformation Drive.

Fraley and other agriculture leaders are exploring new innovations that can help farmers produce more food on less land, while also identifying ways to improve soil health and the environment.

Fraley is one of the pioneers in agricultural biotechnology and has been involved in ag research since the early 1980s. He has been with Monsanto for more than 30 years and currently oversees the company's global technology division, which includes plant breeding, plant biotechnology, ag biologicals, ag microbials, precision agriculture and crop protection.

Heuermann Lectures in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL are made possible through a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips. The Heuermanns are longtime university supporters with a strong commitment to Nebraska's production agriculture, natural resources, rural areas and people. Lectures stream live at http://heuermannlectures.unl.edu and are archived at that site soon afterward. They also air on NET2 World at a later date.