Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Feeding the World in the 21st Century

On 1/13/2010, I attended a seminar titled "How willl we feed the world in the 21st Century?" put on through Washington State University (also where I work). One of the presenters is a friend of ours, Russ Zenner. Russ and his wife, Kathy, were one of our farm host guests from our Dinner on the Farm series. There I saw two of our former Dinner on the Farm guests, Kenna Eaton and Carol Spurling both from the Moscow Food Co-op. The guest speakers were comprised of a cattleman who represented the cattle industry, our friend Russ who represented the farming industry, a WSU professor involved in the College of AG and a woman from the Seattle area who represented the largest Food Co-op in the U.S. The audience was able to ask questions of the panelists and it was a good medium in which to be able to share opinions, views and information from each of their perspectives. The audience was made up of students, staff and community members. Kenna, who is the manager of the Moscow Food Co-op commented to me after the event that it was very much
like our Dinner on the Farm event, only on a much larger scale. After this event, a group of us Genesee farmers went on to hear Michael Pollan who is the author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma". I'll blog about this next, so to not have this one so long. Plus Mr. Pollan gave me so many more blogs to talk about, so either stay tuned or watch out! =)

On my way home, I was reflecting that those of us in the Ag industry love what we do. It is our passion and mediocrity in our industry is not accepted. Many of us come into farming either by marriage or being born into farming families, but either way, those that stay in this industry have a true passion for it. I saw something called the "Passion Equation" and the formula was simple: Interest + Information = Passion. In order to continue to be profitable within the Ag industry, farmers must be on the continual hunt for ways to do things better, more efficient as well as cost effective so that is where the "information" part of this equation comes into play. What other industry gets so much scrutiny as well as restrictions imposed by people who most likely have never set foot on a farm and have to defend our industry to hostile environmental groups? So yes, we love what we do and are committed to feeding America, as well as the world, with a high quality as well as safe product.