Posted on September 3, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Iowa Corn
If you are anything like me, you walk into a grocery store and feel assaulted by all of the information you see when you are shopping. When I was younger, picking out a box of cereal was as simple as deciding between Snap, Crackle and Pop or the Trix Rabbit. Now everything is labeled as: sugar-free, locally-grown, gluten-free, reduced fat, lower cholesterol, organic, or any number of countless other adjectives of promotion. What does it all mean?
It is easy to long for a simpler time and wish for the pastoral way of agrarian life to return. But, that probably isn’t going to happen. Having been involved in agriculture and education for the past 20 years I would like to think I know about the agriculture system and how food gets from the field to the grocery store and ultimately to my kitchen table. But every day I learn something new.
We are a nation that has reaped the benefits of a successful agricultural system. This has allowed our society to flourish, engage in leisure activities, and dream about future endeavors. Our successful innovations with food and fiber production have resulted in fewer farmers and larger yields. This success story has come with a consequence—a society that has little understanding of agricultural production and processing and how this system meets our basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) and interacts with a sustainable environment and our quality of life. Daily decisions made by individuals, through dollars and voting affect our agricultural system from—farm to fork. If U.S. agriculture is going to continue to meet the needs of the U.S. population and address growing global needs, agriculture needs to be understood and valued by all.
As global population rises so does the demand for food. It is anticipated that global population will reach more than 9 billion by the year 2050. That is 2 billion more mouths to feed! At the same time more people are moving into the middle class allowing them to afford higher protein diets which in turn increases demand.
As it is, there are approximately 1 billion people in the world today who are food insecure and are either malnourished or simply don’t know where their next meal will come from. All this combined showcases the need for increased food production. But, productive arable land is being lost to urbanization. Water and other inputs are not unlimited. It will take advances in infrastructure, technology, and science to address the growing demand and growing need.
We would like to invite you to take a journey with us and explore agriculture. As an organization we hope to connect more students to agriculture and get them interested in STEM careers. But mostly we want to help people who are removed from the farm understand how agriculture impacts our lives every single day. If you eat you are involved in agriculture!
We will be sharing our thoughts on agriculture, the agriculture industry, education and a variety of other topics. We will also be providing tips and tricks for classroom teachers to bring agriculture into their classrooms as a way of helping teach science, social studies, math and language arts.
Meet the team that will be on this journey of learning and discovery with you.