Maci Lienemann, a senior animal science major from Princeton, has been named a Next Generation Delegate by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Lienemann was one of 19 undergraduate and graduate students from across the world selected to participate in the delegation.
As a Next Generation Delegate, Lienemann will attend The Global Food Security Symposium in Washington, D.C., on April 26. The symposium will bring together key multi-disciplinary stakeholders to discuss transformations to the global food system necessary to feed growing cities. Participants will explore ideas to facilitate business investments and economic opportunities that can benefit small-scale farmers and urban consumers alike.
As a longtime beef producer, Lienemann said she believes she can add to the conversation of food security by exploring the use of biotechnology in livestock and specifically the potential for genetically engineered animals.
“Selective genetic breeding has long been used to produce more desirable traits in plants and animals,” Lienemann said. “However, the use of genetic engineering has a much greater potential impact, as it is a much more targeted, accurate, predictable and efficient method of introducing these desirable traits.”
While genetic engineering has improved yields in crops, current regulations prohibit genetically engineered animal products from being made readily available to the public. Lienemann, who is pursuing a minor in political science and spent her summer working for the U.S. Senate, looks forward to discussing this policy with her peers and global leaders in agriculture.
“In order to make these products more readily available, but still ensure the safety of our food supply, I believe we need to make the regulatory process consistent across all products and based on scientific data,” she said.
In the fall, Lienemann will begin a master’s program in animal genetics at the University of California-Davis with research interests in genetic improvements of livestock through biotechnology and related public policy. She will study under Alison Van Eenennaam, an animal genomics and biotechnology extension specialist. Van Eenennaam was a featured speaker during the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Heuermann Lecture Series in January 2015.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is a nonpartisan organization committed to influencing the discourse on global issues through contributions to opinion and policy formation, leadership dialogue and public learning.