Texas A&M leads national conference on agriculture for health

KBTX News 3 at Six(Recurring)
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The Texas A&M AgriLife Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture (IHA) hosted a conference on Thursday to strengthen the role agriculture plays in reducing chronic diseases.

The Texas A&M IHA partnered with the U.S Department of Agriculture and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to create the “Conference on Agriculture for Health: Priority Setting to Solve the Ultimate Grand Challenge.” The conference unified experts from higher education, government, agriculture, and private and non-private sectors.

Patrick Stover, IHA Director, told KBTX this conference brings in people from different backgrounds in order to identify research priorities to gain a more long-lasting efficient solution.

“Six [out of] 10 Americans right now suffer from a chronic condition and 40% [of people] suffer from more than one,” said Stover. “Food is a major driver of chronic disease in this country and it’s a major driver of health care costs... But, it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Stover explained how this conference is a milestone for IHA since they only started the program back in January.

“We are looking into the best science and creating an inclusive process that engages the entire agriculture and food system,” Stover said. “To be able to create this meeting where so many people are interested in changing lives, it means so much to us. There’s no stopping here. ”

After the conference, Stover said he hopes to have regular meetings each year to keep up to date on the best way to serve people with chronic diseases.