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U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization highlights MSU partnership to strengthen food security


STARKVILLE, Miss.—The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is highlighting its partnership with Mississippi State University to develop and enhance animal and veterinary public health, plant and fish health, food safety and nutrition programs.

A new FAO publication titled “Strengthening food security through innovative aquaculture management,” is online at as part of the organization’s academia partnerships webpage.

The FAO brief states, “Joining hands in partnership since 2010, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Mississippi State University (MSU) are collaborating to exchange resources, expertise, experience and knowledge to improve food and nutrition security and alleviate poverty through sustainable aquaculture development efforts.”

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, a former Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture who has led the university for more than a decade, has made food security a central focus of his professional life. Keenum has long advocated the impact major research universities in the United States, particularly land-grant universities like MSU, can have in the global fight against hunger and poverty. Currently, Keenum serves as chairman of both the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development.

After establishing its partnership with MSU in 2010, the FAO recognized the university in 2014 as a Center of Knowledge and a member of the Global Aquaculture Advancement Partnership. In 2018, MSU was selected to be a Candidate FAO Reference Center on Aquaculture Biosecurity and Antimicrobial Resistance.

The brief states that key results of the FAO-MSU partnership include combatting aquatic antimicrobial resistance, advancing innovations for food security, improving aquaculture biosecurity, and forming the next generation of food security leaders.

MSU also is home of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative to reduce poverty and improve health outcomes for global populations dependent on aquaculture- and fisheries-led economies. MSU leads the lab through its Global Center for Aquatic Food Security, directed by Mark Lawrence, a professor in MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Lawrence will give a keynote presentation during the FAO’s upcoming webinar in July on innovative biosecurity approaches for a healthier aquaculture industry.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at is an online news website serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.


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