Understanding Biopharming Train the Trainers

Jeff Wolt, Faculty, Agronomy


Biopharming the idea of using crops as production systems for therapeutic products has received mixed responses in Iowa and the Midwest. Although there is a clear need for these products and a value-added opportunity for producers, there remain many uncertainties as to their safety and potential impacts on the food value chain. Training educators to knowledgably address biopharming is necessary for informed decision-making by producers and communities.

In conjunction with Agroknowledge, a short course was held at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA. July 20-23, 2005. This course selectively targeted a group of 20 agricultural educators from high schools and community colleges in the Midwest. The objective of this training was to acquaint lead educators as to the opportunities and pitfalls of biopharming enterprises at the community level. Presentations by industry and academic experts along with role-playing exercises were used to provide theses educators with the tools and experiences needed to develop biopharming training modules for use within high schools and community colleges.
These lead educators now have the tools for developing course content relevant to understanding biopharming. Within their institutions and communities they now are equipped to act a opinion leaders on issues regarding decisions regarding biopharming enterprises.  The curriculum resources developed at this workshop will be widely disseminated via outlets such as Agroknowledge.   KGAN of Cedar Rapids covered the biopharming workshop and broadcast an extensive piece on the evening news.

121 - Adding Value and Enhancing Agricultural Products

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu