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NMSU Dean Flores selected as fellow of Water for Food Global Institute

New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Dean Rolando A. Flores has been selected as a Global Fellow of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska.


Man in suit with glasses
NMSU Dean Rolando A. Flores has been named a fellow of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute. (NMSU photo)

“I am honored and delighted to accept the nomination to become a Global Fellow,” Flores said. “The Water for Food Institute is one of the largest water organizations that deals with agriculture. Serving in this capacity will enhance the work of NMSU and the College of ACES in water management research.”

Ensuring food security for a rapidly growing world population, while maintaining freshwater resources for other vital needs, is one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century. With support from the Robert B. Daugherty Foundation, the University of Nebraska established the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute in 2010 to leverage Nebraska’s expertise and leadership in water management and agricultural production.

“The University of Nebraska is a leader in agricultural water management research, the extensive work at NMSU is addressing issues in a semi-arid state; thus, we can actually expand the institute’s research,” Flores said.

“Water is the key to everything – food and fiber production, human health and environmental sustainability,” Flores said. “The challenge for our future survival is achieving food security with less stress on water resources through improved water management in agriculture and food systems.”

Water management is one of the four pillars under which ACES has focused its mission of being an engine for economic and community development for the state of New Mexico.

“Water plays a limiting role in the development of agriculture, thus, it is imperative to build collaborations with scientists and scholars in water utilization,” he said. “Our professor Sam Fernald with the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute is already interacting with the Water for Food Institute. The idea is to develop more programs through our association with the institute.”

The institute’s faculty directors are taking the lead on several research and policy projects, forging partnerships with several other organizations and strengthening its global influence.

Staff directors have built the institute’s capacity to document, share and sustain the institute’s outcomes and impact. Nearly 100 Faculty Fellows at the University of Nebraska are working with 19 Daugherty Water for Food Institute Global Fellows to make progress on subject areas central to water and food security: closing water and agricultural productivity gaps; groundwater management for agricultural production; enhancing high-productivity irrigated agriculture; freshwater and agricultural ecosystems and public health; and management of agricultural drought.

Global Fellows are faculty members and researchers external of the University of Nebraska who provide significant and sustained contributions to the institute’s global research, scholarship, engagement and education programs.

They substantively and geographically complement the Water for Food Institute leadership’s and faculty fellows’ areas of expertise, thereby expanding the institute’s capacity to implement projects internationally.

Other Global Fellows are from a wide range of countries and states including the Netherlands, Ethiopia, England, Brazil, South Africa, Spain, Lebanon, Tunisia, Nepal, Chile, Uruguay and Oman, as well as California, Indiana, Minnesota, Maryland and Colorado.