Vilsack and Cuban Delegation Visit Seed Science Center

Vilsack and Cuban Delegation Tour Seed Science CenterU.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack and a nine-member Cuban delegation, including Cuban Minister of Agriculture Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero, visited the Seed Science Center on June 3.

After Seed Science Center Director Manjit Misra welcomed the delegation, Vilsack commented on the importance of Iowa State University’s land-grant mission given global food security challenges. “I want to welcome you to one of the truly great land-grant universities,” said Vilsack. “The land-grant system was started by President Abraham Lincoln in the midst of our own Civil War. He understood then, as we understand today, that knowledge is key. That development of knowledge occurs in labs across universities. And it is important that we transfer that knowledge. Agriculture faces many challenges, the least of which is to be more sustainable.”

Rollero then commented on the role of seed in agricultural development. “I am sure that after our tour of the labs here [at the Seed Science Center], I will reaffirm my belief that there cannot be any type of projection for development for agriculture anywhere in the world unless the first thing that is resolved and projected for research are the seeds and the phytogenic resources.”

Following a tour of the Seed Science Center provided by Agronomy Associate Professor Susana Goggi, the delegation was joined by a number of key Iowa agricultural stakeholders in a roundtable session. The group discussed opportunities for collaboration including agricultural trade with Cuba.

Left: Agronomy Associate Professor Susana Goggi explains seed testing methods to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and Cuban Minister of Agriculture Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero. Right: Vilsack spoke on the importance of Iowa State’s land-grant mission in promoting agricultural sustainability.

To view a video of the group's visit to Iowa, visit the following link:   /video-gallery

(Video clip: Iowa Public Television, Market to Market)