Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wastewater Farming Contorversy

A new water treatment plant is coming to Mexico. Most would see this as a good thing, however some are not so happy. The water that will be treated is currently a fertilizer source for a group of farmers in Mexico. Read through the article linked below and utilize the discussion points below to guide conversations around the globe. 

Discussion Points
  • Explain the benefits of wastewater farming.
  • Explain the problems with wastewater farming.
  • What past historical event or events complicate this situation more?
  • After reading this article what would your recommendation by and why? Plant, no plant, compromise, or something else?
  • This situation is an excellent example of how something that can benefit so many can have a negative impact on others. Can you think of other examples of this? 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

From Sea to Plate

Did you know that keeping illegally captured fish off supermarket shelves is a problem around the world? This is a challenge that is facing the fishing/seafood industry and one of the heaviest traded commodities in the world. We encourage you to read the linked article and then utilize the discussion points provided below to guide conversations around the globe.

Discussion Points
  • Why is it so important to track and monitor the sale and trade of seafood products around the world?
  • Explain what is being proposed to help protect against illegal, unprotected and unreported fishing. 
  • Why is international buy-in so crucial to this initiative? 
  • Which countries have led the way by already adopting similar initiatives? How can buy-in be increased globally in your opinion?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pollen Spread: GM and non-GM Crops

Before we have highlighted pieces on GMO vs. non-GMO products and practices. This week we look at how the two can work together and what is needed for separation to protect against pollen spread. We encourage you to look at the linked study from a scientist in Canada and utilize the discussion points to guide conversations around the globe!

New Tool Helps Estimate GM Pollen Spread

Discussion Points

  • Why is it important to have an area of separation between GM products and non-GM products?
  • What did the study find as a suitable separation space? How does this compare to what some have suggested? (You may need to convert measurements to standard if your home country does not utilize metric.)
  • Do some additional research. In your home area what is the required separation distance when planting GM next to non-GM crops? How does this distance measure up to the suggested distance in this latest research?
  • Often things can get contentious between individuals and groups when you have growers producing GM and non-GM crops close in proximity. What suggestions would you have for both sides to ensure successful experiences for all?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Syrian Agriculture Needs Help Now

We have all heard about the horrifying events taking place in Syria. Agriculture is, also, hurting in Syria. The linked article takes a look at a recent report put out on the struggles of agriculture in Syria and the need for action to improve it. We encourage you to read the linked article and then utilize the discussion points to spark conversations around the world! If you are looking for further information the full report and a video summary can be found at the right side of the linked article.

Syrian Farmers Call to Kick-Start Agriculture Now

Discussion Points

  • Why is it so important to give attention to agriculture in Syria sooner, rather than later?
  • Under the heading "Other main findings are:" in the article there are five findings listed. Of these five which stands out to you the most and why?
  • How has agriculture been impacted in Syria and to what extent?
  • What do you believe are the first steps to improving agriculture in Syria and why?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kenya on the GMO Brink

GMO's have always been controversial around the globe. The controversy in Kenya is as strong as ever. The linked article below from AgWeb highlights the "Global Farmer Network" blog and features a piece by a farmer from Kenya. We encourage you to read over the linked article and utilize the discussion points below to guide conversations around the globe.

Is it Time for Kenya to Move Off the Brink and Lead with Agricultural Technology

Discussion Points

  • What is the current status of GMO's in Kenya?
  • What case does this farmer make for the need for GMO's in Kenya?
  • What was the most surprising fact or thought you took from this article? Explain.
  • Do some additional research: 
    • How are GMO's perceived around the world in different continents and countries?
    • What does science say about GMO's?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Brazilian Meat

Even though we have returned from Brazil we will keep our focus on Brazil for this weeks post and discussion points. About a week ago the meat industry in Brazil took a hit domestically and globally. Below I have linked two articles regarding the recent issues facing the meat industry in Brazil. One includes a video and the other is strictly text. I encourage you to check out both and then utilize the discussion points provided to guide conversations around the globe. 

Discussion Points
  • What is the meat industry in Brazil facing at this time?
  • What are other countries doing in reaction to the current situation? What has been the impact on Brazilian exports?
  • What are the possible impacts that this could have on the global meat markets? Explain your reasoning.
  • If you were a high ranking official in Brazil how would you deal with the current situation to ensure as little impact to the Brazilian meat industry as possible?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Travel Time

Today we have spent a lot of time on the road as we prepare for many hours of flights. We started out traveling from Intumbiara to Brasilia with a short pit stop in Goiania at Juarez's, to drop him off and have a coffee break. We soon were back on the road. It took between 5-6 hours to make our way to Brasilia.

Once we arrived in Brasilia we went to a mall, named Pier 21, to enjoy lunch at the food court. From there we made our way to the middle of Brasilia to get a birds eye view of the city from the TV tower. There is a market near the tower so we took this opportunity to pick up some souvenirs. After this we hit a supermarket and then planned to take a stroll along the lake and see the city, but rain changed those plans. We made our way to a mall and shared conversation while relaxing.

We have now checked into the airport and are preparing to board our flight. While at the airport we met a gentleman from Illinois who came to Brazil on a similar study abroad opportunity in 2000 and since started farming 30,000 acres in Brazil along with his operation in Illinois. Which one of these students will start farming in Brazil as part of their operation? It was truly a great time with great students!