About the SBC

food secure future

More than ever before, today’s challenges to food security are complex. Producing food crops that require fewer inputs and make better use of dwindling natural resources is a goal of the Stakman-Borlaug Center (SBC) for Sustainable Plant Health. Building on the interdisciplinary, problem-solving vision of University of Minnesota scientists E.C. Stakman and Norman E. Borlaug, the SBC unites plant health experts from the University of Minnesota, other institutions, agri-industries and stakeholder groups to find durable, environmentally-friendly solutions to plant health challenges. Through research, outreach, and education, our experts are working at home and around the globe to ensure a food-secure and sustainable future.

Our Mission

To ensure a food-secure future by creating sustainable and interdisciplinary research-, outreach-, and education-based solutions to complex plant health problems that threaten global crop production.

Our Objectives

Creating Innovative Solutions For A Sustainable Future

A changing global climate, shifting crop production patterns, diminishing arable land and other natural resources, and a growing world population all contribute to the complex problems that threaten food security. We understand that agricultural production practices can have broad impacts on environmental health, and feeding the world while supporting environmental sustainability requires new solutions to complex plant health problems. That is why we take an interdisciplinary, systems biology approach to protect plants from pests, pathogens, and environmental stresses. SBC experts from diverse fields of study work together to create innovative and environmentally sustainable plant health solutions.

Connecting Global Plant Health Experts 

Threats to global food production are vast and complex. Providing long-term solutions to these problems requires different perspectives and novel approaches. The SBC builds a cohesive and collaborative community of University of Minnesota experts, key global research institutions, and industry and stakeholder partners to solve plant health challenges, attract research funding, and build educational capacity. The SBC tackles problems that are local, national, and international with food security and environmental health impacts that are global.

Changing Crop Production Practices for Improved Sustainability

In words and in action, Norman Borlaug advocated that scientists  “take it to the farmer.” This call to action urged both creations of solutions to food security threats and sharing of those solutions with the people most in need. The SBC builds on this vision, working globally with farmers and other stakeholders to understand their needs and problems, and to empower them with science-based knowledge to affect local change.

Building Public Awareness and Advocacy

At home and around the globe, there is a growing desire to know where food comes from and what effects food production has on the environment. As plant health experts, we have an opportunity and responsibility to provide reliable, science-based perspectives on crop production practices and environmental health. The SBC is working to increase scientific literacy through public engagement and educational initiatives that bring the public closer to the food we eat. An engaged public passionate about the science behind food and the environment is a partner in creating sustainable plant health solutions.