Thomas W. Hertel, distinguished professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University and founder and executive director of Global Trade Analysis Project, will present this year’s Filley-Gary lecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Hertel will deliver "The Challenges of Sustainably Feeding a Growing Planet" at 3 p.m. March 6 in the Cottonwood Room of the Nebraska East Union, Center and Arbor drives on UNL's East Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
He will describe how the key determinant of global food prices in 2050 will be the rate of overall technological progress in agriculture. There are two competing views of the world. Pessimists point to the slowing rate of yield growth in many key breadbaskets, suggesting this will be exacerbated by climate change. In contrast, optimists point to evidence that global agricultural productivity growth has continued to rise -- fueled by record public research and development investments in China, India and Brazil; as well as by the private sector. However, future agricultural land use is to face increasing competition from environmental services, including carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Global regulation of carbon pollution could radically reshape the way we manage the world’s land resources, as well as societal assessments of new technologies. Understanding the competing demands for global resources, and their impact on the global food system over the next century, will require greater inter-disciplinary research effort.
Hertel has extensive experience in research and a teaching focus on international trade, food and environmental security.  He is a fellow and past-president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. The Global Trade Analysis Project encompasses more than 12,000 researchers in 160 countries around the world.
A reception will follow the lecture to celebrate the Agricultural Economic Department’s centennial anniversary.
The Filley-Garey Lecture is an annual event, funded by the family of H. Clyde Filley, first chairman of the Department of Agriculture Economics. The building that houses the department is named after H. Clyde Filley.