The World Food Prize Foundation

2014 Iowa Hunger Summit

Creative Uses of Plants to Improve Nutrition and Reduce Hunger

Speaker Dr. Carl Rogers - Co-Director, Iowa State University Community Design Lab
Dr. Ellen Dierenfeld - Nutrition Consultant
Dr. Gene Stevens - Cropping Systems Specialist, University of Missouri
Dr. Noe Alfaro - President, Leaf Nutrient Inc.
Dr. Lee Baggett - Executive Director, Hands in Service Ministries
Schedule Breakout Sessions - Round Two (10/14/2014 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.)

Creative Uses of Plants to Improve Nutrition and Reduce Hunger

Description: A little creativity can go a long way in alleviating hunger. Leaf Nutrient and Outreach, Inc. will present their experiences finding new uses for plants that improve nutrition and support economic development in farming communities in Africa and Latin America.

Leaf Nutrient is running a model program to alleviate malnutrition in Mexico through technologies to process alfalfa juice concentrate as a nutritious dietary supplement for at-risk children and families. Dr. Noe Alfaro and Dr. Lance Crombie relate their experience in processing alfalfa for a cellular extract concentrate which, with the inclusion of 10 grams per day to the regular diet, has made an notable difference in nutrition and health of adults and children in poverty belts of Mexico. They will also explore ways to advance the process to increase production of the extract and to improve stability for a longer shelf life and a wider distribution to be able to serve it wherever it is needed.

Outreach is working to achieve community food security in rural Tanzania through an integrated agricultural model of sisal, food crops, and livestock. Dr. Ellen Dierenfeld and Dr. Gene Stevens will present the results of a recently completed study of the value of processed sisal pulp as livestock feed in Tanzania.

About Dr. Carl Rogers:

Carl Rogers is a Co-Director at the Iowa State University Community Design Lab and an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University.

About Dr. Ellen Dierenfeld:

Ellen works as a nutrition consultant for zoos, veterinarians, and international non-profit groups focused on sustainable agriculture, nutrition and health issues, as well as with several livestock and pet food companies both in the US and globally.  Prior to her current role, she worked with Novus International, a manufacturer of feed ingredients, where she managed R&D projects for their emerging Africa division, and also oversaw Global Sustainability research projects.   Before that, she headed the Wildlife Nutrition programs at the Saint Louis Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society, based at the Bronx Zoo.   She was born and raised in Iowa, and graduated with degrees in animal science from Iowa State University and animal nutrition (both MS and PhD) from Cornell University.  She has conducted field research projects and workshops on six continents, serves on the editorial board of Zoo Biology and as a Nutrition Advisor for several endangered species, and published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers as well as a co-authored a comparative nutrition textbook.

About Dr. Gene Stevens:

Dr. Gene Stevens grew up on a dairy crop farm in Oakland, Tennessee.  He earned a PhD in soil science from Mississippi State University in 1992.  His graduate research was on cover crops for conservation tillage and crop simulation.  He is currently the cropping systems specialist at the University of Missouri-Delta Center at Portageville. His extension program is focused on educating clientele on farming practices to increase crop yields, reduce input costs, and conserve natural resources.  He has also conducted research on rice irrigation in South Africa and soil testing in Tanzania. 

About Dr. Noe Alfaro:

Dr. Noe Alfaro is President of Leaf Nutrient, Inc., a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1988 and incorporated in 1990 in the state of Wisconsin to combat malnutrition among children living in poverty in Mexico and other underdeveloped countries. Because of their low protein diet, many of the Mexican children living in poverty belts are small for their ages, perform poorly in school, and are often ill with communicable diseases.

LNI has developed a model program to alleviate malnutrition in underdeveloped counties. Since entering its first village near Saltillo, Coahuila, in 1988, this program has been implemented in some 150 farming villages in poverty belts of Mexico. Sets of the unique crushing machines have been donated to many of these villages and the people were taught how to process the concentrate. In 1990 under the direction of LNI, the child welfare department of Coahuilla, "DIF," began including alfalfa juice concentrate and cooked vegetables in the dry pasta distributed to schools and hundreds of poor families with a notable improvement in their mental and physical health.

About Dr. Lee Baggett:

Dr. Lee Baggett, received his medical degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, in Guadalajara, Mexico. He completed his Family Practice Residency at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Houston, Texas.

From 1974 - 2007, Dr. Baggett directed the Medical Outreach Program at the Hospital Mexico Americano in Guadalajara, Mexico. This program continues to serve the poor and vulnerable through free clinics in poverty belts across Mexico by local invitation.

Dr. Baggett currently divides his time between service as the president of Sister Hands, a lay, broad based human needs organization in Guadalajara, seeking to best match needs and resources as available; as the Executive Director of Hands in Service Ministries, a faith-based, wide-cope human needs organization based in Amarillo, Texas, seeking to best match needs and resources as available; and as Vice President, Medical Dental Area for Texas Baptist Men, for whom he networks to promte and recruit talent for faith-based free clinics of multiple levels to serve the medically uninsured needy across the USA.


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