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Deaton discusses career, plans for emeritus work

Thursday, June 13, 2013 | 9:05 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Food security is one of the most important challenges facing the world in the coming decades, said MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, who intends to work hard to address it as chancellor emeritus after he retires Nov. 15.

Deaton, who announced Wednesday that he would retire as chancellor, took time to talk with Missourian reporter Brendan Gibbons outside a closed meeting of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators on Thursday. He talked about his past interest and studies in agricultural policy and trade issues and how growing up on a farm in Kentucky helped instill those values.

Deaton is chair of the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development, a position to which he was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2011. He talked about his experience in that capacity and about how he hopes to explore how universities can become more involved in addressing global food security issues.

The challenge, Deaton said, extends beyond impoverished areas.

"A lot of the challenge we face in feeding people by 2050 will depend on what we do in the United States, in Europe, in South America, in all the developing countries as well, because there's just going to be such monumental demand for food products," Deaton said. "So it affects what all we do — farmers in Missouri and across this country."

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.


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