Sonny Ramaswamy

About the Distinguished Lecture Series

Instituted in 2009, ESPP’s Distinguished Lecture Series seeks to engage world class researchers, policy makers and practitioners with the MSU environmental research and education community. Distinguished Lecture speakers give a public lecture on an interdisciplinary topic and interact with MSU faculty and students. The Series is designed to provide an important interface between MSU and global leaders working on cutting-edge environmental issues. An important function of the Series is to facilitate interactions among MSU researchers from diverse fields to address issues that cross disciplinary boundaries.

In 2014, ESPP expanded its Distinguished Lecture Series to include events organized jointly with other units at MSU. ESPP is offering to partner with individual departments and units at MSU wherein ESPP co-sponsors a limited number of visits by distinguished scholars to deliver lectures on pressing environmental issues. For more information and criteria, please see this PDF.


Tuesday Oct. 18, 2016
273 Giltner Hall, Michigan State University


Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy was appointed to serve as director of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on May 7, 2012. As part of USDA's Research, Education, and Extension mission, he oversees NIFA awards funds for a wide range of extramural research, education, and extension projects that address the needs of farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers. Prior to joining NIFA, Dr. Ramaswamy served as dean of Oregon State University's College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. He provided overall leadership for the college's academic programs at the Corvallis campus and OSU programs at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, for-credit extended education, informal education through the Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Extension Program, and research at OSU's main campus and 11 branch experiment stations throughout the state.

    Agriculture is inextricably linked to environmental, economic, and human health. For many years, agriculture and food research, education, and extension have focused chiefly on calories and the ‘farm-to-fork’ spectrum. Today, however, combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, controlling water availability, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability, and ensuring food safety necessitate a more innovative, holistic, and interconnected approach. Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will present on user-inspired science that catalyzes transformative discoveries to address these agricultural challenges.

Event Flyer







Click here to view Dr. Ramaswamy's presentation slides.