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2013 World Food Prize Created Great Discussions

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 8:05 PM by Iowa Corn

This year’s World Food Prize events and lecture’s brought on great discussion among the panelists and audience members who attended the events. 

Monday morning Iowa Corn participated in a global media tour hosted by Crop Life America on Gordon

Wassenaar’s Farm in Prairie City. Fifty media representatives from around the globe asked questions about corn. Local farmers, Dean and Adam Taylor, Will Cannon, and Roger Zylstra answered questions as well as Gordon. That afternoon, the Des Moines Register public forum on biotechnology sparked an interesting debate with the opponents and supporters who attended the event.  ISU Professor and Seed Science Endowed Chair, Dr. Gary Munkvold who was on the panel was in support of genetically modified (GM) crops.  Farmer, Bill Horan also spoke in support of biotechnology saying that the advancements allowed his kids to participate in ballet and sports and even allowed him to attend their events. Something his parents never considered given the time and work involved on the farm. Biotechnology has also made things much safer for him as a farmer.  During the discussion, a few of the panelists agreed that more public funding should be invested into non-biased research. 



Tuesday marked the Iowa Hunger Summit where several hundred leaders from across Iowa representing community organizations, business and industry, state and local government, social agencies, churches and religious communities, schools and universities, and other groups that lead or participated in projects to confront hunger.  The Hunger in Iowa survey found that about one in four Iowans has experienced hunger, and nearly half of those surveyed knew someone who did not have the resources to buy food on a regular basis. 
Wednesday through Friday were a host of World Food Prize events, including the awards program for the World Food Prize Laureates. Three distinguished scientists — Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, and Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley of the United States — will share the 2013 World Food Prize for their independent, individual breakthrough achievements in founding, developing, and applying modern agricultural biotechnology. According to the World Food Prize, “Their research is making it possible for farmers to grow crops with: improved yields; resistance to insects and disease; and the ability to tolerate extreme variations in climate.”  
The events this past week heightened the discussions about the food we eat and where our food comes from.  As consumers, we can each make our own food choices that best fit our families, but we must keep in mind those foods we purchase are safely inspected by the FDA before they are put on store shelves to purchase and we must keep in mind that not every family is given the same opportunities for nutritious and safe food.  
All the events Wednesday- Friday can be viewed here
Janet Wilwerding is the communications manager for Iowa Corn. I grew up helping raise cattle and hogs and assisted in producing corn and soybeans.  Being the second oldest of six children allowed me to gain an appreciation for agriculture as I was often the one helping plant and harvest.  I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Marketing.  I am lucky I to live close to my families' farm so we get to help out whenever we can. 


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