USACC Event Explores Sustainable Future of Agriculture with University of Minnesota's Experts

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 3, 2024 – The U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) proudly hosted an enlightening event dedicated to the University of Minnesota’s “Forever Green Initiative,” a pioneering effort aimed at enhancing water resilience and safeguarding the water-food nexus through the development and improvement of winter-hardy annual and perennial crops. This distinguished event convened experts and advocates of sustainable agriculture, along with academia members specializing in crop development.

The event commenced with opening remarks from USACC Executive Director Natig Bakhishov, followed by an address from the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Khazar Ibrahim, and insights from Daniel Silverstein, head of the Ag Salon, an informal group of agricultural experts.

Professors from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), Dr. George Annor and Dr. Donald Wyse, presented the “Forever Green Initiative.” This initiative focuses on the development of winter-hardy annual and perennial crops that support continuous living cover, enhance soil health, and promote agricultural sustainability. The presenters underscored the new economic opportunities emerging from these advancements and illustrated how these crops can revolutionize the agricultural landscape.

Led by Dr. Annor and Dr. Wyse, the Forever Green Initiative integrates fundamental research with crop commercialization efforts, ensuring the profitability of producing these innovative crops. This holistic approach facilitates the transition of new crops from the laboratory to the field, benefiting farmers, the environment, industry, and society.

The Forever Green Initiative boasts a portfolio of over 15 crops, supported by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in genomics, breeding, agronomy, natural resource sciences, food science, sociology, economics, and commercialization.

The event concluded with an informal reception, providing attendees with the opportunity to network and discuss the potential applications of these innovative agricultural practices in various contexts, including U.S.-Azerbaijan trade and business relations.

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Source: USACC