Feeding the World: 1917 to Today


U.S. agriculture faces the same challenge today that it faced 100 years ago: feeding the world.

Photo of G.I. Christie at work in Washington, D.C.

G.I. Christie at work in Washington, D.C.

In 1917, the United States military joined millions of Europeans in serving in World War I.To support the Allies, America needed to quadruple its grain export.

Purdue Extension Superintendent G. I. Christie was appointed as Indiana’s food director to address this challenge. He organized Extension programs that stressed increasing production and eliminating waste – goals that are still relevant today.

As population rapidly increases, Purdue remains an integral part of feeding the world. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina demonstrated this in 2017 when he joined two other Purdue alumni as a World Food Prize laureate.

“My professors at Purdue University saw in me a passion for international development,” said Adesina, whose work has dramatically increased Nigerian food production. “There will not be any rest for me until Africa feeds itself.”

 — by Hannah Tucker (Purdue ’18)

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