Scott Hutchins

Scott Hutchins

MOSCOW — A top U.S. Department of Agriculture leader will explore the promise of new technologies and innovative practices for the nation’s agricultural production and its future capability during the University of Idaho Celebrating Idaho Agriculture event Oct. 9.

The celebration will feature Scott Hutchins, USDA deputy undersecretary for research, education and economics. His speech, “Igniting Agricultural Innovation,” will take place online 4-5:30 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) and will be free and open to those who register in advance.

“We are fortunate to have a key U.S. agricultural policy leader as our keynote speaker,” said Michael Parrella, dean of the U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, which sponsors the event. “Dr. Hutchins occupies a unique position to offer a broad perspective of our nation’s incredibly diverse agriculture and its opportunities ahead.”

Hutchins is responsible for key USDA agencies, including the Agricultural Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Economic Research Service and National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“Our scientists are researching ways to increase productivity, enhance efficiency and develop methods to adapt agriculture to changing conditions of all types affecting producers and consumers in the future,” Hutchins said.

Those changes include climate, market and nutrition, among others.

Hutchins and Parrella both trained as entomologists and served as presidents of the Entomological Society of America. Hutchins’ earlier efforts to reorganize the 131-year-old society created the path to success the group now enjoys, said Parrella, who led the group in 2018.

More information about registering for Celebrating Idaho Agriculture and Hutchins’ program is at uidaho.edu/cals/celebrating-ag.

The U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences also sponsors Ag Days for high school students each fall to allow them to explore future careers in agriculture. This year’s Ag Days will also shift to virtual events on Instagram. More information is at uidaho.edu/cals/ag-days.