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2015 Global Summit Overview

Theme: Implications of Taking a Systems Approach

     IBM and calves don’t have very much in common. But the speakers at this year’s Cornell Food Systems Global Summit made one similarity between them very clear: a systems approach has the potential to make both more productive for food systems. Data scientists, dairy farmers, and a diverse array of other food industry representatives met at Stocking Hall on October 12 and 13 to explore how integrating knowledge from all components of the food system can drive innovation.
     Keynote speaker Robin Lougee of IBM illustrated how the company is developing and introducing data-driven technologies with the potential to revolutionize agriculture. The vision included using drones to provide insights and making cows and other livestock a part of the Internet of Things—the concept of enabling objects to collect and exchange information via sensors or other electronics. As the Research Division’s focal point and innovation strategist for Consumer Products and Smarter Agriculture, Lougee is working to create a “system of insights” that harnesses the power of interdependencies to make big data useful for food systems.
     Leveraging more traditional opportunities for interconnection was the focus of a lively panel discussion moderated by food science professor Dave Barbano. When it comes to systems thinking, task-oriented dairy farmers often miss opportunities, animal science professor Mike van Amburgh emphasized. Dairy farmers must broaden this limiting perspective, argued Marina von Keyserlingk of the University of British Columbia, because when consumers are confronted with practices such as cow-calf separation, their confidence in dairy plummets. Through the example of calf rearing, the panel explored how integrating consumer attitudes and scientific data with the realities of managing a farm can turn intractable issues into innovative solutions.
     Establishing connections was more than a topic of discussion throughout the summit—it was an action. Industry representatives forged relationships with one another as well as with leading scientists during ample networking sessions.
     Summit attendees were also the first to hear about an exciting new opportunity for connecting bright young minds with food businesses. Made possible by the support of Cargill, Wegmans, CY farms, and a variety of other companies, the Food Systems Fellowship will expose Cornell students to food industry careers ranging from cheese processing to agribusiness management while offering businesses early access to the next generation of leaders. Teaching these bright young students has shown van Amburgh that “the leaders of tomorrow want to solve big problems,” and that CIFS’s role is “to show them how to do it.”

2015 Cornell Food Systems Global Summit Video Recap


Welcome and Opening Remarks

Olga Padilla-Zakour, Professor and Chair of Department of Food Science, Cornell University
Julie Stafford, Industry Liaison Officer, Cornell Institute for Food Systems Industry Partnership Program

Agriculture in the Information Age

Integrated Systems: Solving the Productivity Challenge for Agriculture

Nick Dokoozlian, Vice President of Viticulture, Chemistry and Enology, E&J Gallo

A Systems Approach to Production Agriculture

Craig Yunker, Managing Partner, CY Farms & Batavia Turf

A Systems Approach is Needed to Catalyze a Sustainable, Year-round, Locally-grown Produce Industry in the Northeast

Neil Mattson, Associate Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section, Cornell University

Upgrading Food Processing and Packaging

The Untapped Potential of Packaging in Food Systems

Lora Spizzirri, Packaging Innovation Consultant

Beyond HPP Applications: What it takes to make an HPP-ready food

Joyce Longfield, Applications & Regulatory Specialist, North America, Hiberbaric

Big Data Throughout the Food System: Driving Decisions, Designing the Future

Key Note Speaker: Robin Lougee, Research Scientist and Global Industry Lead, Consumer Products and Smarter Agriculture, IBM Research

Innovation through Interconnection: Maximizing Feedback Impact

Dave Barbano, Professor, Department of Food Science, Cornell University
Mike Van Amburgh, Professor, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University
Marina von Keyserlingk, NSERC Industrial Research Chair and Professor, Animal Welfare, University of British Columbia

Strategic Insights at the Systems Level: Two Case Studies in Food Regionalization

Is Regionalizing Broccoli Value Chains a Good Strategy for the Northeast

Miguel Gomez, Associate Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

Should We Regionalize Fluid Milk Consumption?: System Impacts

Chuck Nicholson, Adjunct Associate Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

Enhancing Consumer Health from Distribution to Diet

Personalizing Nutritional Recommendations with Small Data

Deborah Estrin, Professor, Computer Science, Cornell Tech New York City

Product Recalls: Spelling Them Out

Jeanne Colleluori, Consumer Affairs, Wegmans

Environment and Health Externality of Food Supply Chains - From Transportation to Air Pollution and Public Health

Oliver Gao, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University

Building Smart Systems That Address The Big Issues: Sustainability and Climate Change

The Impact of Climate Change on Our Interconnected and Interdependent Food Supply

Mike Hoffman, Executive Director, Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture

Sustainable Urbanization: The Future of Food

John Mandyck, Chief Sustainability Officer of United Technologies

Closing Remarks for Today and the Future

Mike Van Amburgh, Professor, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University
Mike Kreher, Director of Strategic Business Development, Kreher Family Farms

2015 Global Summit Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

Supporting Sponsor