Researchers selected for task force on responsive agriculture and health

October 05, 2023

Two researchers in Rausser College of Natural Resources have been selected to share their expertise for a collaborative, USDA-funded study on how to re-engineer the agricultural system with a focus on health, sustainability, and equity. 

The food and agriculture system in the United States historically has been successful at addressing societal imperatives such as reducing hunger and food insecurity. Yet there is an acknowledged disconnect between the domestic food system and the food environment in achieving human health—specifically, reducing the risks and effects of diet-related chronic disease.

The Texas A&M Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture (IHA) and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Center on Global Food and Agriculture (Chicago Council) are leading the Responsive Agriculture Study, which has the goal of encouraging health-promoting food decisions that reduce the high rates of diet-related chronic disease in America. Unlike many previous research efforts, the study will include multiple dimensions of the food system, food environment, and social and behavioral factors that contribute to food choices that influence health.

The IHA and Chicago Council appointed members for the three committees that will work with The Responsive Agriculture Task Force to develop a national roadmap for responsive agriculture solutions as part of the study. The IHA defines Responsive Agriculture as an agricultural system and food environment that supports health through nutrition while ensuring the system is economically robust and environmentally sustainable for future generations.

Kevin Klatt, an assistant research scientist and instructor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and Toxicology, will serve on the Committee on Reducing Diet-Related Chronic Disease. The committee will consider food environments that support human health and the complexity of the diet-disease relationship, appreciating the biological variability among individuals.

David Zilberman, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, will serve on the Committee on Transforming Agricultural Ecosystems and the Agriculture-Food Value Chain. The group focus is presenting key concepts, findings, and conclusions needed to realize an agriculture and food system that addresses both hunger and human health, while ensuring environmental sustainability and economic robustness for producers, with capacity and resiliency for food production and distribution now and into the future.

Learn more about the study and task force committee members on the IHA website.