The Stewards of the Future conference series event Microbiome: Unseen Opportunities for Agriculture and Health was held at the McKimmon Center on October 20 2016. The conference focused on microbiomes, a fast-emerging field in the life sciences which is reshaping the way we think about the microscopic world. The conference brought together a wide variety of audiences including professional scientists and administrators; teachers and students; farmers and agricultural executives; and members of the University community and general public.
These audiences were exposed to a variety of perspectives on recent developments in the study of the human, animal, and environmental microbiomes. An enhanced understanding of these topics is vital to recognizing the interconnectivity of organic and chemical agents at the microscopic level, and ultimately in improving our outcomes in human health, agricultural output, and many other fields.
The conference attracted over 350 attendees. It was supported by 19 sponsors, including 13 companies in private industry as well as 2 industrial associations, who contributed a total of $58,000. The conference featured insight from 23 renowned experts in the field of microbiomes and related study/industry. $11,000 in cash awards were distributed to deserving faculty and students who submitted entries in the Innovation Fair and Outstanding Research competitions. This conference was recognized by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and promoted in a press release concerning the formation of the National Microbiome Initiative.