Heuermann Lecutures - working to meet the world's growing food needs

Upcoming Lecture

Chris Elias, Joan Lombardi, and Nurper Ulkuer, Heuermann Lectures panel

"The Role of Water and Food Security in Early Childhood
Survival and Development:  A Global Perspective"
Tuesday, April 22 |  3 p.m. | Nebraska East Union
37th and Fair St. | UNL East Campus

A conversation with:

Dr. Chris Elias, president of the Global Development Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, residing in Seattle, WA.

Dr. Joan Lombardi, former deputy assistant secretary and inter-departmental liaison for early childhood education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; national and international expert on early childhood education, residing in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Nurper Ulkuer, former head, Early Childhood Development Unit, and senior adviser for early childhood development, UNICEF, residing in Ankara, Turkey

Panel moderators: 
Dr. Marjorie Kostelnik, dean, UNL College of Education and Human Sciences

Dr. Helen Raikes, Willa Cather Professor, UNL Dept. of Child, Youth and Family Studies



Links between quality water/food security and young children's early development are abundant. Good nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child's life is crucial to body and brain development.  Poor nutrition can lead to stunting and diminished brain capacity.  Poor water quality relates to stunting and brain development through multiple routes, i.e., open latrine density and sanitation, diarrhea diseases, contamination during infant supplementation of breastfeeding.  In addition, young children's development is implicated in agricultural production throughout the world. 

Progress has been made in reducing world infant mortality rates, but while more babies survive, millions remain at risk for foundational brain and early childhood development.   More children are surviving but not thriving. With links shown among improved health and nutrition and education and a country's economic growth, lack of adequate food and water for children has significant effects both for individuals, and for nations struggling to raise themselves out of poverty.

Panel members will discuss these factors, and more.  They'll also examine how changing demographics in which life expectancies and an aging population increase as birth rates decrease will affect societies worldwide, and discuss the need to think carefully about the social and agricultural systems that best support survival and development of young children to build human capacity long-term.

A 2:30 p.m. reception at the Nebraska East Union precedes the lecture.


Anyone who requires reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act, such as interpreters, transcribers, assistive listening devices, special seating, or accessible media, please contact Judy Nelson at (402) 472-3031, jnelson5@unl.edu, two weeks prior to the event to discuss arrangements. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to all individuals with disabilities attending any conference or meeting at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Talking with Keith Heuermann

A wide-ranging interview on a lifetime of being a part of agriculture in Nebraska.

View the recorded interview segments.

About the Heuermann Lectures

Heuermann Lectures focus on providing security – and here security means enough to sustain the world – in the areas of food, natural resources, and renewable energy for people, as well as on securing the sustainability of rural communities where the vital work of producing food and renewable energy occurs. Read more about the lectures