Donnie Smith, CEO of Tyson Foods Inc. in Arkansas, and his wife, Terry, have committed to give $3.2 million to the University of Tennessee, creating the Donald and Terry Smith Endowed Chair for International Sustainable Agriculture.
Donnie Smith has been working with the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture for more than a year and shares the same concerns regarding population growth and world hunger. UTIA is an institute focused on the world‘s efforts to create solutions to agricultural and environmental issues, according to Larry Arrington, Chancellor of Agriculture.
“This gift will help UTIA to develop solutions to the global problem associated with feeding the rising world populations,” Mark Morgan, professor and Head of the College of Food Science and Technology, said.
The world population is expected to reach nine billion people by 2050. This can cause greater devastation towards international countries already suffering from starvation, Arrington said.
“Some estimates indicate that here in the United States, approximately 30 percent of foods produced are never consumed due to losses,” Morgan said. “Developing technologies to reduce loss and improve preservation would go a long way towards a solution to the problems of feeding the world and reducing world hunger.
“We hope that this gift will be the beginning of an initiative to globally reduce losses of foods after harvest,” Morgan said.
Donnie and Terry Smith both graduated from the University of Tennessee. Donnie Smith received his undergraduate degree in animal science from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and Terry Smith is a graduate from the College of Education.
Edited by Maggie Jones