Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum shakes hands with Starkville Rotary Club member George Sherman after speaking at the Starkville Country Club Monday afternoon. Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff
September 20, 2016 11:35:03 AM
On the heels of a speech last week to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum took his message promoting global food security to Starkville Rotarians on Monday.
Keenum represented MSU and Presidents United to Solve Hunger -- a coalition of more than 70 colleges and universities -- at the Global Open Data for Agriculture Nutrition Summit. On Monday, he discussed with Rotarians the importance of combating world hunger through the lens of its impact on Mississippi State and its student body.
"As I told the UN assembly on Friday, we've got to make our students on our college campuses aware of their future," Keenum said. "I tell students by the time that they're my age, in the next three to three-and-a-half decades, we're not going to have 7 billion people -- we're going to have 10 billion people on this planet. And how to feed another 3 billion people at our global dinner table over the course of a very short window of time is going to be one daunting task for the globe."
Keenum said as a research university ranked Top 10 in agricultural science research and development expenditures, MSU stands as a leader against world hunger problem.
"The only way that we're going to be able to address this critical challenge for the future, for the future of my children who will be going off into this world, is going to be through science, research, innovations and technology at a mass scale."
Keenum said in addition to its global impact, Mississippi State's scientific leadership in areas like food security fuels growth in the university.
"The great work [faculty] do generating tremendous research and the great job they're doing in the classroom, it's helping us continue to attract great students to Mississippi State," he said.
Keenum also noted a second straight year of record enrollment at the university. For fall 2016, the State Institutions of Higher Learning reported 21,622 students enrolled at MSU. The university also touts a record 3,624 first-year freshmen.
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