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Fargo to host 2016 international agriculture conference

By Cali Owings

FARGO, N.D. — More than 400 scientists and agriculture leaders will convene here when Fargo hosts an international agriculture conference in 2016.

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Officials from North Dakota State University, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, AdFarm and the Red River Valley Research Corridor announced Tuesday that they were selected as hosts for the 2016 Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference.

This is the first time the conference will be hosted in the U.S. since it started in 1996.

“It gives us a chance to put on a global stage our agricultural research, our agricultural innovation and our agricultural businesses in this area,” said Roger Reierson, AdFarm CEO.

It will provide an opportunity for area scientists to collaborate with researchers and businesses from across the world.

Ken Grafton, dean of the NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources, said he hopes to create new partnerships to address global challenges such as providing food, developing fuels and protecting the environment.

“We have to partner with industry in helping to address those issues on a global basis,” he said.

The conference could attract researchers and businesses from a variety of life science and natural resource science fields, Grafton said.

Reierson, who will head the conference steering committee, said it will develop a theme for the conference that will affect the kind of researchers and businesses that attend.

While they won’t decide a theme until after the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, conference in 2014, Reierson said it will likely emphasize public and private-sector partnerships as the answer to global agricultural issues.

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