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10 Years of Success

Iowa State University’s Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods continues to succeed in tackling global issues such as hunger and sustainability, directly reaching more than 1,000 households in Uganda and affecting almost 2,500 more families through outreach programs.

Aligning with our objectives for the center, households achieve greater crop yields, increasing food security and reducing levels of malnutrition. School children share what they learn with their families, and produce from the school gardens provides a substantial supplement to school lunches. Through the farmer-to-farmer program, local farmers learn to differentiate between and properly use insecticides, pesticides and fungicides, greatly increasing crop yields.

Other forms of outreach are focused on spreading knowledge even farther. Using a popular local radio broadcasting service, CSRL staff conducted five radio programs to discuss a variety of sustainability topics. During the radio shows, prominent program farmers would also share their success stories. One listener shared, “I am so amazed to learn that beans can be used in product development. We call upon you to build our capacity so that we can also boost our income.”

Last year, we explored cost-effective methods of killing the insects responsible for devastating post-harvest crop losses. We recently have results of experiments that show 100 percent effectiveness of weevil control in hermetically-sealed 55-gallon barrels. Additionally, we have preliminary results for other strategies of weevil control, and our next step is to discover ways to fund and conduct trials in Uganda.

My recent trip to Uganda reaffirmed just how much the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods impacts the daily lives of others across the globe. We recently celebrated ten successful years of CSRL, and produced a photo book to highlight the work of the center. Thank you for your support of Iowa State’s role in combating world hunger, especially as the importance of such issues continues to grow.


Mark Westgate
Professor, Department of Agronomy and Director, Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods

P.S. If you would like to make a gift to the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, please contact Sarah Roelfs at 515.294.1031 or