Thursday, September 24, 2015

Teach Ag!

This week I came across many potential topics to hit on relating to global agriculture, but I kept returning to the theme of the week around campus which was centered around an event today...National Teach Ag Day in the United States. On our campus today we hosted many to explore career options in agricultural education. We are facing a serious shortage of agricultural educators in the United States. National Teach Ag Day is all about promoting and bringing awareness to the great profession of agricultural education. Here is a link to a video that was created to get you thinking about what agricultural education is all about!

I have noticed as I travel to other countries agricultural education is something that you often do not see in education until the collegiate level. This always gets we thinking...Where would the United States be without agricultural education? Or the better question yet...Where would the world be if everyone had agricultural education around the world? So here's my challenge to you...What does agricultural education look like around the globe and how does this impact certain countries and/or regions?

Global Agricultural Education Challenge

  • Research different countries agricultural education systems. This can be done individually or by pairing up with others.
    • Is there formal agricultural education?
    • How is agricultural knowledge delivered (book, email, field days, text message, etc.)?
    • Who delivers agriculture knowledge (teachers, universities, researchers, extension, government, etc.)?
  • After you have researched specific countries/regions evaluate their agricultural education systems.
    • Are there things you would change? Why?
    • How does their agricultural education programs impact the country or region as it relates to economics, health and nutrition, stability, etc.?
  • Assume that you were just elected to a government office for a newly created country. You have been asked to shape and create the agricultural education system for this country. What would your recommendations be? Be sure to justify your responses.
  • Once your research and analysis is complete share your findings with others and let the conversations begin!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Food Insecurity or Hunger

This week we take a look at food insecurity and how it relates to hunger. A lot of times food insecurity can be misunderstood and this article makes you take a deeper look at things. Read through the linked article and use the discussion points below to lead your conversations.

Are we confusing hunger with food insecurity?

Discussion Points

  • Explain and discuss what food insecurity is versus hunger.
  • Explain the concept of "hidden hunger."
  • In what ways do families deal with food shortages?
  • Do you have/see food insecurity in your local community? Explain your response.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Global Food Prices Drop

We have all heard the reports of a bunker crop coming and low commodity prices. Yet another sign of this is a large decline in global food prices. Linked below is an article that hits on this decline in food prices and examines many reasons. Read the linked article and use the discussion points to guide conversations around the globe in various settings!

Global Food Prices Drop Most in 7 Years

Discussion Points

  • What causes were noted as reasons for declining food and commodity prices around the globe? See how many you can identify. 
  • Explain how this article stresses the global network we are all a part of in agriculture.
  • How long has it been since we have seen declines like this?
  • What are your predictions in relation to food and commodity prices over the next year? Over the next five years? Be sure to support your responses.
  • How do crops look in your home area? How will this effect global food prices?
  • Are low food prices a good or bad thing? Look at this from many different perspectives.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The China/United States Food Connection

Food safety has been a concern in the United States for years and these same issues are rising to the top in China as well. The article linked below takes a look at a group that got together recently to examine and discuss the relationship and possibilities shared between China and the United States as it relates to agriculture trade and food safety. After looking over the attached article use the discussion questions below to start conversation with others.

The Surprising Synergies of China and American Agriculture

Discussion Points
  • What was one of the main things that helped shape food safety regulations in the United States?
  • What/who is helping to shape China food safety policies today?
  • Explain the arable land and population relationship in China and the United States and how this can or does effect the supply chain.
  • Discuss the current supply chain in place between China and the United States as it relates to agricultural goods.
  • What do you see as the possibilities of food safety and relations between these two countries? If you are from a country other than China or the United States what does your food supply chain look like with China and/or the United States?