Tuesday was Ag Day and it was celebrated both far and wide across this country. In Washington, D.C., panels were convened, movies were shown and lawmakers were lobbied. On social media, every ag-related person shared the ag-related posts that spoke to them. On our farm, John hauled manure. I'm not sure whether he knew it was Ag Day or not. Regardless, here are five links to catch you up on this week in food and agriculture, with a whole lot of Borlaug and a little bit of Stine. Good Iowans, both.
We Could Use Borlaug's Wisdom Today: There is a lot of common sense in this piece from our sister publication, and it's a great share for the week of National Ag Day. Says author Mike Wilson, "Before he left this world in 2009 he was rightly known as the man who saved a billion lives. He did all that with sound science. And I just wonder, if he were alive today, what Dr. Borlaug would think of the food elitists who have trashed science for the sake of selling more burritos and cereal to a bewildered public…We've been eating this food for nearly two decades. Do food companies know something that the scientists don't? Well, yes. They know that it's safer to follow than lead. Follow their customers' whims and fears, no matter how absurd or expensive. Follow the shrill and loud voices of the extremists even if most consumers don't buy that bunk. Follow, instead of showing some leadership by spending some of your impressive marketing budgets to help educate families about the safety of modern food practices."
Can This Man Feed the World? The story of Harry Stine, the dyslexic farm boy turned cunning negotiator, data savant and agriculture visionary, founder of Stine Seed Company, and, according to this Forbes piece, the "richest man in Iowa." This is a great read for agriculture and beyond and this is one of my favorite lines: "It is a good reminder to those tempted to confine “innovation” solely to the world of Silicon Valley that some of the most impressive and fundamentally important advances on Earth are occurring today in agriculture, and the global epicenter is America’s heartland."
Norman Borlaug: This link takes you to the Nobel Prize website that details Norman Borlaug's life and accomplishments. Click on the links on the left for Borlaug's biography, his Nobel lecture, his acceptance speech, photos and more. It's a great resource if you've ever wondered exactly what he did and when, and what it all meant to him. Borlaug bonus: his statue was dedicated on National Ag Day in the U.S. Capitol.
Blogging through Brazil: My colleague to the west, Mindy Ward at Missouri Ruralist, is knee deep in an agricultural trip across Brazil, and she's blogging daily about their adventures. The photos and the stories are fantastic.
Consumers are Talking About Food and Ag, but Are You Paying Attention? A solid #AgDay post with a solid observation: we tend to spend the majority of our time talking with 'our kind.'