Decarbonizing the Agricultural Sector

In 2016, US produced more than 6.5 billion tons of CO2 equivalents [EPA] with the agricultural sector representing 9% of the US total emissions. Additionally, on a global scale, agriculture and forestry contributed 24% of the all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the second leading sector for GHG emissions after electricity and heat production. In addition, crop yields need to increase by 70% over the next 30 years to feed a growing and more prosperous population. The points above highlight the important role that agricultural will play in reducing GHG by 80% by 2050 (according to strategic report). There are three research areas, that appear most promising, that will be explored in this panel: 1) Advancement in agricultural technologies; 2) Supply chain and consumer behavior research; and 3) Agricultural ecosystems.

Ashley Allen


Ashley Allen is the Sustainability Senior Manager for Climate and Land at Mars, Incorporated. In this role she serves as Mars’ subject matter expert on global sustainability issues related to climate change and land use, and supports Mars’ Sustainable in a Generation Plan. Prior to her position at Mars, Ashley served for ten years at the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, leading low-emission development partnerships with developing countries around the world and helping to negotiate the international Paris Agreement on climate change. She earned her M.P.A in Environmental Science from Indiana University.

David Babson


Dr. David Babson has extensive research and policy experience in addressing global energy and climate challenges with a special focus on the emerging bioeconomy. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University.

Richard Kohn

University of Maryland

Dr. Richard Kohn is an Animal Science scientist with a research focus on fermentation products in the rumen. In addition, his extension work has focused on reducing nutrient losses from farms to air and water resources by improving and manageing animal feed. He earned his Ph.D. in Animal Science from Michigan State University.

Genevieve Croft

Policy Analyst, Food & Agriculture, Congressional Research Service (Moderator)

Dr. Croft is an Agricultural Policy Analyst at the Congressional Research Service (CRS), focusing on agricultural research and biotechnology. She earned her Ph.D. in Biology and Biomedical Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis.

Loren LaPointe

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service/AAAS Fellow (Reporter)

Dr. Loren is an AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at US Department of Agricultural, Foreign Agricultural Service working on international trade policy of agricultural plant commodities trade with South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. Her policy interests include science communication, science diplomacy, and using evidence and science to support agricultural trade policy. She received a BS in Biochemistry and a BA in Spanish from Western Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

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