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Program Update – April 12, 2011


The following report has been developed by ProActive Communications as an update on major GHI programs and initiatives. If you have any questions or comments, please reply to bennett@getproactive.us.



AG Day

Under the leadership of Executive Director Bill Lesher, for the second year in a row the Global Harvest Initiative was a Champion-Plus sponsor of the 2011 Ag Day in Washington, D.C. On behalf of GHI, ProActive Communications led an interactive media training session for nearly 100 university-level FFA members, developed videos of FFA student interviews, and distributed a press release to profile GHI’s sponsorship of the official Ag Day events, among other promotional initiatives. Bill Lesher also provided remarks at the Celebration of Ag Day dinner at USDA. To view a full report on the AG Day events, including the videos, pictures, press release and promotional materials, please click here.


To view the Ag Day video, please click here.


World Food Prize

Planning continues for the October 12 WFP events in Des Moines, IA.  Letters of invitation to participate in the CEO Leadership Forum on Private Investment have been sent to Dr. Rajiv Shah and Daniel Yohannes. Richard Leach, President and CEO of the USA World Food Program (Click here for bio), is proposed as the event moderator.  Additionally, African dignitaries including the President of Tanzania or the President of Malawi (both have been invited to attend the World Food Prize) are potential participants.


Policy Issue Briefs

The policy issue briefs are complete. Each policy issue brief will be released separately through a corresponding press release that will be broadly distributed and marketed to the news media. GHI consultative partner members will be approached with the goal of each news release including a quote from a leader of the respective organization. The following is the timeline for distribution of the policy papers. To view the full plan for the distribution and marketing of the policy issue briefs, please click here.



Policy Topic

April 18

Improving Research, Funding Structure and Collaboration

May 2

Removing Barriers to Global and Regional Trade in Agriculture

May 16

Strengthening and Streamlining Development Assistance Programs

June 6

Embracing Science-Based Technologies

June 27

Enhancing Private Sector Involvement in Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Development

                                                *All dates are tentative


Website Upgrades

The new interactive world map featuring statistics that will correspond with each issue brief topic will be launched on the GHI website in conjunction with the April 18 release of the GHI research issue brief. Revisions to the online Policy Center are currently underway to profile each issue brief. Click here to view an image of how the map will appear on the website.


Website Analytics Update

Online analytics from January through April demonstrate a pattern of increasing visits and time spent on the GHI Website and blog. Key findings include:

·                     1,256: Total number of visitors

·                     2,128: Number of pages viewed

·                     43: Number of countries generating visits; the U.S. generated the highest number followed by the United Kingdom and Canada

·                     2:28: Average time spent on the site, a 45% increase from the fourth quarter of 2010


View the comprehensive website analytics report


CEO Video Interviews

ProActive Productions is finalizing the second and third in the series of GHI founding member CEO video testimonial interviews. DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman was filmed on March 30 and the video is currently in post-production. The Hugh Grant testimonial video is pending final approval from Monsanto public affairs.


2011 Gap Report

Planning and development of the 2011 GAP Report™ continues, and the contract with the Farm Foundation (in conjunction with ERS) for the 2011 GAP Report™ was signed and finalized. Neil Conklin will be providing an update on plans and progress with the draft report at the next GHI Board of Directors Meeting.



An op-ed, For Global Food Security, Increase Agricultural Productivity, is currently being marketed to the news media for publication under the byline of Dr. Bill Lesher. Click here to read the final op-ed.


Senior Associates/Office Space

A memorandum outlining the responsibilities of the incoming GHI Senior Associates was sent for Board review and can be accessed by clicking here. The lease for the GHI space at the Deere office is completed and signed and the office build out is complete. Additionally, equipment has been ordered and will be installed, and the current plan is for the Senior Associates begin on or around May 1. Laura Barringer has been identified as the Senior Associate from Deere.


Economist Intelligence Unit Proposal

As discussed at the March 2 Board of Directors meeting, the Economist Intelligence Unit has provided updated proposal information for the development of a global report to conduct “research to improve understanding of the enabling environment and capacity of each country’s agricultural sector.” Click the links below to view the updated proposal documents provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

·         GHI Proposal: From rice to riches: Benchmarking national agricultural potential

·         GHI Proposal: Programme Elements, Distribution and Exposure

·         Case Study: GE Health of Nations

·         Case Study: Philips


World Wildlife Fund Project

A contract for the World Wildlife Fund’s project with was submitted and is currently under review by Dr. Jason Clay. The project funding was set at $40,000 per year for the project’s four year span.


Upcoming Board Meetings

With the GHI Senior Associates expected to begin working in their new roles in May, the Board members are requested to meet in-person for the next scheduled Board of Directors meeting instead of meeting via tele-conference. Based on conflicts, scheduling for the meeting is still being finalized and the dates will be sent out shortly. A conference call Board Meeting will be scheduled in the next two weeks as an opportunity to discuss specific items before the in-person meeting.