The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and the Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lectures Advisory Committee welcomed Peter G. McCornick, Ph.D., to Petit Jean Mountain for a special event on March 17, 2023, focused on our state’s water and food resources. We partnered with Arkansas PBS to broadcast Professor McCornick’s lecture and our expert panel live on YouTube.


  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    • Securing Water and Food in a Changing World
      • Keynote lecture by Peter G. McCornick, Ph.D.
    • “The State of Water in Arkansas” panel, moderated by Dr. Deacue Fields, vice president for agriculture for the University of Arkansas System. Panelists include:
      • Sec. Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary for Agriculture
      • Ed Swaim, Executive Director, Bayou Meto Water Management District
      • Chris Colclasure, Director, Arkansas Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Division
      • Evan Teague, Vice President of Environmental Issues, Arkansas Farm Bureau
  • 12:15 – 2:00 p.m.
    • Lunch and networking

“Living in the Natural State it might be easy to forget that water is a limited resource, yet Arkansas faces challenges that require us to think smartly about how we conserve our water supply,” Janet Harris, Institute Executive Director/CEO, said. “Dr. McCornick’s expertise and global perspective will inspire a thoughtful discussion with agriculture and conservation communities, sparking the kind of collaborative thinking that the Institute is proud to support, just as Winthrop Rockefeller did during his time on the mountain.”

Professor Peter G. McCornick is the executive director of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, where he leads the institute in delivering on its vision of a water- and food-secure world, building its partnerships and collaborations in Nebraska, nationally in the US, and other key food-producing regions in the world. He is a tenured professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Robert B. Daugherty Chair of Water for Food.

With an international career focused on improving the sustainable management of water resources, he has led interdisciplinary research and development programs on water, agriculture and the environment in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Canada and the U.S.

Dr. McCornick is a licensed professional civil engineer in the State of Colorado and a member of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. Peter was recently elected to the Board of Governors of the World Water Council and is a member of the steering committee of the Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG) initiative, a global partnership organized by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO).

Contact Person

Molly Thomason

Education & Evaluation 727-6215