Panel discussion at MSU sheds light on food sustainability

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Food Insecurity is a matter of great concern now and is also one of national security.

That’s what panelists hoped to get across in the Streich Family lecture series at Midwestern State University Thursday, which focused on economic and business opportunities of food sustainability.

Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana who moderated the event said it is important for people to understand how the supply chain issues, as well as the business of agriculture, affect us here locally.

As many continue to worry about how the holiday season will look this year because of the supply chain issues, panelists, as well as MSU Business Professor Tony Dunkerley, explained Thursday morning the importance of agribusiness in Texas.

“A lot of people understand that the oil and gas industry does play a major role in the economics of the Wichita Falls area and Texas, but we also got to remember that Agriculture does the same thing,” Dunkerley said.

Dunkerley said it is important to produce good quality agricultural products as well as make them sustainable, especially for the future and so the goal of the panel is to show students the opportunities in the business of Agriculture.

“A lot of people took it for granted, except the last couple of years we’ve had multiple historic events,” Dunkerley said. “We’re all getting tired of going through historical events, but we see when we look at the grocery stores when we have bare shelves, there is something that we need to work on – that kind of things, and there are some opportunities to kind of build it as well as keep it sustainable.”

Food sustainability is defined as generating food at a productivity level that can maintain the human population, that’s why Santellana said it is important for him to be a part of these discussions, as they could affect us locally.

“In Wichita Falls, a lot of people don’t think of us in that regard. The city itself not so much, but our outlying areas, that’s a huge part of the area, it’s a huge part of what we do in our community and in our county,” Santellana said. “I don’t think there is anybody that is not affected by the supply chain or by food, a lot of times you take that for granted, but when you start having issues in food shortages, you start having real issues in your community.”

Panelists emphasized that American agriculture feeds the world and encouraged students to research the possibilities.

The panel included representatives from the food, hospitality and leather industries.

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