The Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) Initiative at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech has been selected to take over the responsibility for producing the Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (GAP Report®), created by the Global Harvest Initiative (GHI), a non-profit founded in 2010 to look at what production agriculture would have to achieve to keep pace with a growing global population.

Former GHI deputy director, Ann Steensland, leads the GAP Initiative and is the author and editor of the GAP Report, based at the Virginia Tech main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.

“The Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is well positioned to serve as a host for the report given the breadth of its programs in food, agriculture, and nutrition and its emphasis on addressing global food security issues,” said Tim Sands, president of Virginia Tech. “The college’s initiative to grow public-private partnerships, its investment in international programs, and the new Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia, all benefit the GAP Report and its stakeholders.”

The GAP Report will benefit from the research and relationships of CALS — as well other research initiatives and institutes across the university, including the USAID Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab and the Center for Agricultural Trade.

The report aligns with the mission of Virginia Tech’s CALS Global Programs Office (CALS Global), a unit within the college that was formed in 2016 with the goal of building partnerships, creating new opportunities, and empowering success while serving globally. The GAP Report will be produced by CALS Global under the leadership of Tom Thompson, the college’s associate dean and director of global programs.

“The college’s initiative to grow public-private partnerships, its investment in international programs, and the new Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia, all benefit the GAP Report and its stakeholders.”

— Tim Sands, president of Virginia Tech.

GAP Initiative – Creating opportunities for the Next Generation of Ag Leaders

The Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) Initiative is a series of activities that engage faculty members and students of the university in with the GAP Report and its partners.

Award-winning author and journalist Roger Thurow, spent two days at Virginia Tech sharing stories from his best-selling books on agricultural development and nutrition. He spoke at two public events, attended several food security classes, and met with faculty about his upcoming book.

In April 2019

The GAP Initiative hosted a visit by Keith Fuglie of USDA Economic Research Service. During his visit, he gave a seminar on Total Factor Productivity for students and faculty in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Experience Working with USAID & in the Private Sector

Jennifer Billings, Agricultural Development Lead for Corteva Agriscience™ (third from the right), spent a day at Virginia Tech meeting with faculty and students. She was able to share with students her experience working with USAID and in the private sector.

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