Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rainout Shelters Provide Droughts

Linked below we highlight technology being developed by a group in Australia to assist researchers with plant breeding and developing drought tolerant varieties. While rainout shelters are not a new technology these from Australia have some new features that make them unique. Look over the linked article and take advantage of the discussion points below to guide your conversations.

Rain Out, Research In

Discussion Points

  • Explain the purpose of rainout shelters and why they are important.
  • What benefits do these new rainout shelters from Australia have over traditional rainout shelters?
  • Why is it important to test new varieties in the field and not exclusively in greenhouses?
  • These rainout shelters provide an environment for great research and the varieties being developed provide great promise. What challenges still face getting these newly developed varieties to the farmers around the world that need them? How can these challenges be overcome?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dairy and Asian Nutrition

What hunger and nutrition looks like is changing in Asia. The article linked below takes a look at hunger and nutrition trends and issues in Asia. We encourage you to read the linked article and have conversations with others around the globe utilizing the discussion points provided.

Dairy Potential Ally in Asian Nutrition

Discussion Points

  • What has been the trend in regards to hunger in Asia in the last 25 years and why have we seen this?
  • How are diets and health changing in Asia and why?
  • What is the difference between hunger and malnutrition?
  • Why are small dairy farmers in Asia key to battling malnutrition?
  • What are additional ways that nutrition can be improved in Asia as well as your local community?
  • Often times people will state that "healthy food starts with a healthy soil." What does this statement mean to you?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Smallholder Farmers Have Huge Impact

More and more we hear about the great impact that smallholder farmers have within agriculture. While we often hear this there is not a lot of information on location, size, and other details relating to smallholder farmers. A recent study from the University of Minnesota is working to provide some of this data. Read through the linked article below and utilize the discussion points to guide conversations in your classrooms, coffee shops, and communities around the world. If you want to dive into the topic deeper the complete study is linked within the article providing further analysis and data.

Map of Farming Households Created

Discussion Points

  • There has not been a lot of information/data regarding smallholder farmers in the past. Why do you feel this is the case?
  • Why is it important to understand the number, location, and distribution of small farms?
  • Study the "Mean Agricultural Area" map provided. What jumps out to you?
  • Why are smallholder farmers key to feeding our world?
  • This map is a great first step in collecting data and information regarding smallholder farmers. What other information would you like to see collected and why?