White House Recognizes FVSU Dean as "Champion of Change" | News
Fort Valley, Ga. – President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative recognized “Champions of Change” Sept. 6, and one of Fort Valley State University’s deans was among those honored at the White House.
Dr. Govind Kannan, who oversees the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology, gained notice for his commitment to Strengthening Food Security in the United States and around the world. He also served as a panelist who addressed global food security stakeholders.
Those recognized know hunger is an issue that touches the lives of people all around us. Using innovative approaches, the champions are striving to ensure that no man, woman or child goes hungry and are inspiring others to do the same.
The dean has spent his entire career in applied research and outreach empowering small and underrepresented farmers with the knowledge and technical skills needed to sustain successful
agricultural enterprises. Kannan strongly feels that farms are the key to revitalizing rural communities and strengthening food security, and he played a lead role in establishing a research consortium of 1890 land-grant institutions focused on integrated plant-animal farming systems to promote economic stability and environmental stewardship on limited-resource farms.
Under his leadership, the Fort Valley State’s global outreach has increased tremendously, with growing numbers of FVSU scientists traveling to other countries to conduct training programs, and scientists, students, producers and government officials from various countries in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe visiting the university’s Georgia Small Ruminant Research and Extension Center to learn about sustainable goat and sheep production methods each year.
“To be recognized by President Obama is an incredible honor to me. It was a very humbling experience. Ten other people were recognized, including Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of World Food Prize Foundation; Dr. June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University; and Dr. Claudia Llanten, a physician from Colombia, who served on the global food security panel along with myself,” Kannan said. “This is also a testament to all the good things FVSU does through applied research and outreach activities to improve the livelihood of limited-resource farmers in the U.S. and around the world.”
Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.
“Today’s champions are examples of the groundbreaking work being done to tackle hunger at home and abroad. These individuals are making improved access to healthy food a reality for millions of individuals in need,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “Establishing global food security isn’t just critical for those now suffering from hunger. It is also vital to our long-term economic prosperity. We applaud the champions for their efforts to empower families and communities and to reduce the depth and severity of hunger around the world.”