Thursday, December 14, 2017

Now is the Time: Agriculture and Our World

We only have one world. An astronaut shares his experiences from space and how his unique perspective has made him look at our world and agriculture differently. We encourage you to watch the short video linked below from the FAO and utilize the discussion points to guide conversations in your classrooms, coffee shops, and communities around the world!

We Only Have One Earth 

Discussion Points

  • Of the points shared throughout this video which surprised you the most and why?
  • What are your general thoughts after watching this video? Do you agree with all points? Some points? None at all? Justify and explain your responses. Provide support for your views.
  • The video mentions that forests, soils, and oceans can be huge "carbon sinks." What does this mean? If you need to do additional research go for it!
  • At one point in the video their is a call for action. "Now is the time to take action." What can you do to make a positive impact today where you are at in your life?

Friday, December 8, 2017

European Scientists Call for Change

A recent report put out by scientists in Europe is calling for analysis and change in our agriculture systems. I have linked an article below that shares some of their findings and calls for action. We encourage you to read over the linked article and utilize the discussion points below to guide your conversations in your clasrrooms and communities around the globe!

Call for Urgent Action on Food Security

Discussion Points

  • Why do these scientists see a need for change in our agriculture systems? How do they justify these needed changes?
  • Under the heading "Food consumption will need to change to improve consumer health:" there are several points shared for change. Of these which do you feel has the greatest potential for change and impact? Explain your response.
  • Under this same heading which do you feel has the least potential for change and why?
  • There are many scientific advancements and technologies that can attribute to a change in our agriculture systems mentioned in this article. Which practice/technology stuck out to you as the most promising?Justify your response.
  • Overall what was your take-a-ways from this article? Do you agree? Disagree? Why?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Agrobiodiversity Globally

Agrobiodiversity is a topic that seems to come up more and more lately and often is due to a concern for a lack of agrobiodiversity. This week we look at a column from a professor at Penn State University who shares his thoughts and findings on the topic. We encourage you to read the linked article and utilize the discussion points provided to guide conversations in your classrooms, coffee shops, and communities around the globe.

Fewer Crops are Feeding More People Worldwide - And That's Not Good

Discussion Points

  • What are the benefits of agrobiodiversity?
  • The article shares why wealthy nations see less agrobiodiversity when compared to poorer countries. Why is this?
  • Do you feel there can be a balance between "traditional crops" and "new crops" as discussed in the column? Explain your reasoning.
  • In your opinion what is the future of agrobiodiversity around the world? Justify your thoughts. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

No Antibiotics for Livestock?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently came out with a recommended blanket ban on antibiotics for livestock. Below we have linked an article and video from Market to Market explaining the WHO's stance and USDA's stance on the recommended policy. We encourage you to investigate the linked video/article and utilize the discussion points provided to guide conversations in coffee shops, classrooms, and communities around the world!

International Groups Says Certain Antibiotics Should Not Be Used on Sick Livestock

Discussion Points

  • Why has the WHO made this antibiotic ban recommendation and how do they justify this ban?
  • How has the USDA responded and what arguments have they made for their stance?
  • What is the current policy on antibiotic use with livestock in your home country?
  • Where do you stand on this recommendation? Keep it? Amend it? Scrap it? Justify your response.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Agriculture and Health Come Together

The Director-General of the FAO came together with health ministers at a G7 gathering to stress the need to transform food systems to improve health and nutrition. Some intriguing points are shared in the linked article. We encourage you to read the article and utilize the discussion points provided to guide conversations in classrooms, coffee shops, and communities around the globe!

FAO to G7: Urgent Action Needed to Curb Malnutrition Globally

Discussion Points

  • Hunger is one of three concerns globally with malnutrition. What other areas are of concern to malnutrition and why?
  • What piece of information from the article surprised you the most and why? 
  • The following was quoted in the article: "Transforming food systems to promote healthy diets means taking action in each step of the food chain, from farm to fork." What ideas do you have to transform the food system and why would they work?
  • Why is the "One Health" approach so important to ensuring food safety?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Flour Power

A recent study in Australia has found a way to produce more flour and healthier flour while not increasing overall wheat production. The linked article below shares their findings and includes a video explanation as well. We encourage you to investigate both and utilize the discussion points below to guide conversations in your classrooms and communities around the world!

Flour Power to Boost Food Security

Discussion Points

  • Why does wheat production play such a huge roll in markets and food security around the world? 
  • Why is this new finding so significant to world food security?
  • Explain how this new process increases production and nutritional value of flour.
  • This is a remarkable finding for flour production in wheat. Think about other crops and how we might be able to find genes to increase production, increase nutrition, decrease waste, protect the environment, etc. Share your thoughts and discuss the possibilities!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

South America's Crop Production

South America's impact on agriculture is evident. The linked article below provides an insight to crop production in South America and it's potential impact around the globe. We encourage you to read the linked article and utilize the discussion points below to guide your conversations in your local communities and classrooms.

South America Will Continue To Pressure Grain Prices

Discussion Points

  • What is the current outlook for crop production in South America?
  • How do you see this outlook impacting prices and production in your home country?
  • Besides the amount of crop being planted what other factors could affect global prices of corn and soybeans?
  • In your opinion what does the future for crop production hold for South America? Explain.
  • Explain how politics and policies can impact crop production and prices globaly?