The University of Iowa

UI brings World Food Prize winner to speak on ending poverty and hunger Oct. 11

October 3rd, 2010

From University News Services

Jo Luck, co-winner of the 2010 World Food Prize and president of the nonprofit organization Heifer International, will discuss “A Sustainable Approach to Ending Hunger and Poverty,” from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum on the University of Iowa campus.

The UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR), the UI Office of the President, the UI Office of Sustainability and UI International Programs are sponsoring the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

During her years as president and CEO of Heifer International, Luck has helped grow the organization’s $7 million budget to more than $130 million and has expanded programs throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia and the South Pacific, and Central and Eastern Europe, all in an effort to continue Heifer’s mission of ending hunger and poverty while caring for the earth.

Luck led public education initiatives to link grassroots donors to needy recipients and increase knowledge and awareness of global hunger and poverty issues. Through the contributions of these donors that Luck inspired, Heifer has provided more than 30 kinds of livestock and animals, as well as technical training, to millions of families worldwide and empowered them to quickly convert these gifts into food and income-generating enterprises.

Luck’s upcoming lecture aims to spark debate and discussion about global food security issues and to challenge students and others to think more broadly about these topics. She will discuss her experiences leading Heifer, the organization’s values-based approach to community development and how it translates into the alleviation of poverty.

This lecture is part of the weeklong World Food Prize Laureate Lecture Series, which brings current and past World Food Prize Laureates to colleges and universities across Iowa for free lectures on a wide array of topics regarding world food supply, sustainability, nutrition and more.

“The concept of equitable sustainability is very much at the center of the human rights’ discussions today,” said Greg Hamot, UICHR director. “Jo Luck and her work in the area of sustainability exemplify the meaning of Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it relates to the right to adequate sustenance. Given the resources that the University of Iowa has dedicated to sustainability studies, we’re very lucky to have Jo Luck address our students, faculty, staff and the community.”

Joan Nashelsky, UICHR program assistant, said it’s important to address these audiences because they’re also working to identify solutions to some of these issues through their research, teaching and service.

“Both the UICHR and Heifer are looking at how issues such as climate change may affect the ability to grow food or not, and if future generations can overcome these obstacles,” Nashelsky said.

“Given the resources that the University of Iowa has dedicated to sustainability studies, we’re very lucky to have Jo Luck address our students, faculty, staff and the community.”

During the week of the lecture, the World Food Prize Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium will take place in Des Moines, Iowa, and bring together scientists, policy makers, educators, government leaders and farmers from over 65 countries to discuss agriculture and global development issues.

The theme this year is “Take It to the Farmer: Reaching the World’s Smallholders” and focuses on how agriculture organizations and companies can work with the world’s small-scale farmers to increase the quality, quantity and availability of food on the planet.

The World Food Prize was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in world agriculture. Since 1986, The World Food Prize has been the foremost international award recognizing — without regard to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs — the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The World Food Prize Foundation is located in Des Moines.

Heifer International is a global nonprofit with a proven solution to ending hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Since 1944, Heifer has helped over 12 million families and communities in more than 125 countries, including the United States, become more self-reliant through gifts of livestock, seeds and extensive agricultural training, which provide a multiplying source of food and income.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this lecture, contact Nashelsky at 319-335-3900 or at

For more information on the World Food Prize, visit To learn more about Heifer International, visit To learn more about the UICHR, part of UI International Programs, visit