Iowa’s lieutenant governor will be in Chicago Sunday to launch an international effort to increase student participation in science, technology, engineering and math — the so-called “STEM” courses. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will serve as chair of the “STEM Food and Ag Council.”
“There’ll be no state money that will be appropriated for the initiative,” Reynolds says, “but through membership organizations, they will help fund it.”
The president of DuPont Pioneer will serve as vice chair of the effort, which will seek membership from businesses, educational institutions and governmental agencies.
“That’s what you do is you get expertise — a wide range of expertise,” Reynolds says. “You bring ’em to the table and you start to lay out the goals.”
Reynolds envisions recruiting 40 members for the council.
“Thirty-three of the 100 top food processing manufacturers are located right here in Iowa,” Reynolds says, “so we want to make sure that our young people understand the great careers that are going to be available here in Iowa, so that we can not only get them started early enough so that they’re prepared for those jobs of the future, but also so we can keep them right here in Iowa.”
The first meeting of the STEM Food and Ag Council will be held in Des Moines in October, during World Food Prize festivities. Reynolds will attend the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting in Chicago this weekend to discuss the council’s work on the national stage.
An organization called the Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America is the major force behind the STEM Food and Ag Council Reynolds will chair.