The world is changing: populations are expanding steadily, while food sources and natural resources are dwindling.
Of the world's 194 nations, 54 currently do not meet their citizens' need for food and other basic staples of life. Among the environmental challenges facing our planet are pollution, erosion, scarce and non-potable water and soil depletion.
With our collective future at stake, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel's leader in agricultural and animal sciences as well as in biochemistry, microbiology and veterinary medicine, conducts vital research at its Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot. The purpose is to feed the world.
Achieving sustainable agriculture requires an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to scientific research along with sound public policy responsive to environmental threats. Nothing short of a full-scale paradigm shift - one that treats agriculture as a process and organizes it in new ways to protect our planet - will enable scientists to develop renewable means of feeding growing global populations now and for generations to come.
To implement this paradigm shift, the Robert H. Smith Faculty embraces a far-sighted organizational model that unites a powerful intellectual community of scientists. Leading faculty members with expertise in diverse fields are combining their strengths to foster the goals of the Green Revolution.
Meeting 21st century scientific challenges and advancing global objectives for sustainable agriculture
The Faculty can look back with great pride at its achievements of the past and redesign anew its path and future.
In 2006 the Faculty updated its vision, as: "Feeding future generations with modern, knowledge-based agriculture while preserving the environment." This vision of global nourishment excited many who were swept up by helping its realization. Among the enthusiastic supporters of the idea of global nutrition was the late Mr. Robert H. Smith, the past honorary President of the American Board of Trustees. Smith was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of the Faculty. In recognition of his work, the Faculty was renamed in 2008 as "The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment".
The achievements of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment now extend far beyond the state of Israel and the historical mission of training "new farmers”. These achievements are can be seen in vegetable fields and fruit orchards around the world. The challenges we face are still many, and many breakthroughs lie ahead. We believe that the combination of training outstanding students together with creative and novel research will benefit our environment.