Friday, October 14, 2016

Borlaug Dialogue Closes: Take Action

Today was the third and final day of the World Food Prize and Borlaug Dialogue for us. It was a great three days of learning and we are excited to tackle the challenge of feeding approximately 10 million people by 2050. Once again we have highlights from sessions from day three below. Utilize the points below to keep the conversations going and from there take action to feed our growing world.

Here is a picture of the four Laureates for this year on the stage this morning explaining their project with sweet potatoes.

Breakfast Keynote Address: Liam Condon
  • Diversity is crucial in agriculture.
  • When offering solutions in agriculture they must fit with local culture.
  • "For he who has health, has hope and he who has hope, has everything." Thomas Carlyle
The Challenge of Change: Engaging Public Universities to Feed the World
  • We need to focus more on interdisciplinary work and collaboration.
  • We need to focus on problems rather than disciplines.
  •  This is a global agenda and will take global partnerships.
Women Leaders Driving Science and Innovation for Agricultural Transformation in Africa
  • People don't trust traditional knowledge.
  • Women scientists face the challenge of validating themselves.
  • We must bring mechanization to women in Africa.
A Conversation with the 2016 World Food Prize Laureates
  • We must keep our eye on the goal. Improve dietary quality.
  • If you are speaking different languages you'll be doing different things. (Scientific versus arts, etc.)
  • Having both parties in the same room isn't enough. They also must listen to each other.
Celebrating 30 Years of the Borlaug-Sasakawa/World Food Prize Legacy
  • We have to be ready for anything and everything.
  • Norm's Keys to Success
    • He was passionate
    • He never gave up
    • He kept it simple
  • We must be on the ground battling everyday to solve world hunger. Do it and do it on the ground/in the fields.
While this may have concluded the 30th World Food Prize and Borlaug Dialogue please do not let your conversations around the world stop. Keep the dialogue going and take action to tackle the challenges in front of us!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Inspiring Day Two at The World Food Prize

It was a great second and full day at The World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. As yesterday, we will highlight key points from various sessions and presentations throughout the day. We encourage you to reflect on the points below and entertain discussion with others around the globe!

Borlaug-Rockefeller: Inspiring the Next Generation

  • Instead of buying machinery we need an Uber for farm equipment in developing countries.
  • Sending out technology without training is a waste.
  • We must improve teamwork to move forward in agriculture. The human species must work better together.
Presentation form Kellogg Company
  • One in nine people globally are hungry.
  • We will need 70% more food by 2050.
  • We must work with farmers on climate smart practices, increased yields, and sustainability.
Presentation from Hormel Foods
Hormel highlighted the work they are doing in Guatemala with project Spammy. Spammy is a fortified poultry (turkey) spread providing needed vitamins and minerals to diets. Spammy is a product that can be spread onto and cooked into many dishes. It took many strong partners working together to achieve this success.

Keynote Address from the World Bank Group
  • 156 million children under the age of five are stunted worldwide.
  • Only half of three to six year olds have access to pre-primary education.
  • Investing in young children supports economic growth.
  • Made a call for smart policies, scientific innovation, and political will.
Presentation from DuPont
  • Individuals are much more likely to suffer chronic diseases throughout like if undernourished in younger years.
  • The focus should not just be on calories.
  • Small holder farmers are critical to food security.
Weathering the Storms: Progress and Challenges for Agriculture and Food Security in Asia and Latin America
  • We have a huge opportunity with data. We now have lots of data. The key is how we use it.
  • There have been many benefits of more exported agriculture products including improved food safety and quality around the world. With exports all are held to a higher standard.
  • No country on it's own can be food secure and nutritious with what it produces.
Keynote Address: H.E. Akinwumi A. Adesina
  • Don't just focus on filling the stomach, but filling the body with nutrition.
  • Stunted children today leads to a stunted economy tomorrow.
  • Access to food in the right quantity and quality is every human's right.
Presentation from Syngenta Seeds
  • Good growth plan is needed
    • More food, less waste
    • More biodiversity, less degradation
    • More health, less poverty
  • If you can measure it, you can manage it. If you can manage it, you can improve it.
  • Open access to information is key.
Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack Address
  • We need to develop a greater respect for science.
  • In the U.S. we need to better recognize the role of women in agriculture.
  • In U.S. 30% of farmers income comes from trade and exports. Trade is essential to agriculture.
It was another spectacular day with many great connections made! We look forward to the third and final day of the Borlaug Dialogue on Friday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

World Food Prize is Here!

It is mid October which means one thing...It's World Food Prize time! Each night following the Borlaug Dialogue we will post highlights from the day to get you thinking and discussing these topics around the globe. Tuesday of this week we hosted Emiliano Mroue on campus, as part of the World Food Prize Lecture Series, to share the work he is doing in Sierra Leone with The West African Rice Company. He is truly doing amazing work and making a huge impact. We are working on getting this video uploaded to share with all.

Today (Wednesday) we traveled with a group of students to Des Moines to kickoff the Borlaug Dialogue as part of the World Food Prize Events. The afternoon started with Ambassador Kenneth Quinn kicking off the 30th World Food Prize, many great sessions throughout the afternoon, and concluded with a program and reception recognizing the winner of the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.

Here is a picture at the Hall of Laureates with students and faculty from Hawkeye Community College.

Below we will give brief highlights of each session to spark discussion around the globe! Here is a recap of day one.

Conflict, Stability, and Achieving Global Food Security
  • There are three big areas that are causing food insecurity:
    • Climate change
    • Poor/failed government
    • Conflict
  • Today we have more people displaced from their homes due to conflict than we have had since World War II.
  • In regards to worldwide conflict and stability things are bad now, but they will be far worse three months from now. "It's not going to be pretty, it's not going to be easy, but we must do something."
Global Food Security and National Security
  • We must look at more than food availability, but food governance and control.
  • Food production is currently good. We must address distribution and price worldwide.
  • More frequent extreme weather events will threaten agriculture production.
Food Security in Crisis
  • Key to success in all agriculture development projects are strong partnerships.
  • One problem is technology is on the shelves in developing countries, but it never reaches the farmer.
  • More training and extension services are needed for farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and developing countries.
Availability of a Healthy Global Diet
  • Obesity rates are increasing worldwide.
  • We need improved dietary diversity around the world.
  • We need safer storage and to find ways to extend life of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application

This years award winner is Dr. Andrew Mude of Kenya. Mude was recognized for his work developing an "Index-Based Livestock Insurance" program. In an area where insurance had not existed before he created a system that uses technology from NASA and satellite imagery to identify areas experiencing weather disasters, such as floods and droughts that take animal life, that in turn identifies farmers in these areas and automatically sends insurance checks. 

It was a great first day and we look to continue dialogue tomorrow as we face the challenges and opportunities before us in agriculture and feeding our growing world!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Magic Beans

A company in England is working on "magic beans" that will aid those in agriculture and other industries outside of agriculture as well. Linked below is an article that highlights the possibilities for these magic beans within agriculture and secondly the BeanIoT website. We encourage you to look over the linked articles and discuss with others this technology that may be coming to agriculture around the globe very soon!

'Magic Beans' Monitor Grain Bins

BeanIoT Website

Discussion Points

  • Explain these "magic beans." What do they look like and how do they work?
  • What are their capabilities within agriculture?
  • What are their capabilities outside of agriculture in your everyday lives?
  • Do you see this technology being utilized by those in agriculture in your local communities? Explain.
  • Within agriculture where do you see the BeanIoT of most use? Why.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why the food waste?

There are many challenges facing us as we work to feed over 9 billion people by 2050. While we must increase production to meet this demand in the future, many will note, that currently we are producing enough food to feed our population as is. There are several factors that are keeping us from feeding our current population including costs, infrastructure. and much more. One of the challenges we face is the waste of food. Linked below is a video from the Food and Agriculture Organization. I encourage you to watch the video (around three minutes) and then utilize the discussion points provided below to guide your conversations in your classrooms, coffee shops, and communities around the world!

Food Wastage Footprint

Discussion Points

  • How much food do we waste and what are the impacts of this?
  • What was one of the most surprising/interesting facts that you took from this video?
  • Reflect on your school, household, and community. Where do you see food waste?
  • This video highlights food waste issues in developed countries. However, we still see this degree of food loss in developing countries as well. How does developing countries food waste/loss differ from those in developed countries? 
  • What can be done to cut down on food waste around the world in all settings? Start with your home and then move to your local community, country, and then world.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Farmers Push Trans-Pacific Partnership

This week we take a look at an article that highlights corn producers efforts to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) through congress. It shares where things stand with the TPP, why there is the push, and what challenges lie ahead. Read the linked article and then utilize the discussion questions to guide your conversations.

Corn Farmers Push Congress to Pass TPP

Discussion Points

  • Why is the TPP a positive thing for American farmers?
  • Why are farmers so concerned with getting the passage of the TPP now rather than later?
  • What could the passage of the TPP mean to the rest of the world?
  • Do some additional research. Where do the current presidential candidates stand in regards to the TPP?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Global Commodity Food Prices

This week we feature the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food price index. The linked website shares what the food price index is and what trends we are seeing. We encourage you to explore the different commodity areas and reasonings for increases and decreases of specific commodity areas and the overall direction of commodity prices. After you analyze this website use the discussion points below to guide your conversations around the world.

FAO Food Price Index

Discussion Points

  • Explain what the FAO Food Price Index is and how it works.
  • Which index/commodity has seen the greatest increase and decrease recently and why?
  • What has the been the trend of the FAO Food Price Index over the past 15 years?
  • What do you think the future trend will be of the FAO Food Price Index? Justify your reasoning.
  • What factors have an affect on setting the FAO Food Price Index?