Turkey Day Thoughts: Feeling Good About Ag

As Thanksgiving approaches, the agriculture-related messages coming into my email seem to have become especially bipolar. I got yet another email forward, a Bloomberg article sent to me from a fellow editor, just crushing the ethanol movement. And I’ve heard ad nauseum about the Farm Bill now in stall mode.

Makes me wonder sometimes whether all this technology is a waste of time. But some other stuff I’ve read this week perked up my spirits. Actually, one email, a story in our local newspaper — yes, I do still indulge in the great dinosaur, especially for opinion — and an old book I revisited.

Anyway, the first story was a release from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), released at a week-long meeting of the organization’s governing 192 member Conference. Jacques Diouf, the director-general, said that “agriculture will play a crucial role in the key issues facing humanity this century. I should like to see the new agriculture aligned with a new FAO.”

The release noted that agriculture was the focus of the World Bank’s recent 2008 World Development Report, the first to be devoted to agriculture in 25 years. “It is time to place agriculture afresh at the center of development, taking account of the vastly different context of opportunities and challenges that has emerged,” Diouf said.

“On climate change, energy supply, natural resources depletion, population movements, and indeed on the very health and security of nations, agriculture is central both to the problem and to its resolution,” he continued.

While “attention” can be a double-edged sword, it was interesting to note the recognition that a vital, productive agriculture industry is important to the future of the planet. The release also pointed out the future challenges of the increasing world population — estimated to exceed 9 billion by 2050. “This will require a second Green Revolution aimed at virtually doubling food production in the first half of this century,” says Diouf.

Are you ready for a second Green Revolution?

The newspaper article was a review of a new book on the Ming Dynasty, called Return to Dragon Mountain. Apparently, a guy named Zhang Dai who lived to see the peak, and then the fall of Ming rule, wrote extensively about his experiences in stories, biographies, and poetry. During high-clover times his life was one of luxury. The reviewer chose this Zhang quote: “I was born into a wealthy family, surrounded by ritual objects/never learning agricultural skills/rice was plentiful in the granaries/a hundred people worked for my meals.” Sound familiar? What’s scary — the Mings lasted 229 years. Also sound familiar?

Not that America is destined for the scrap heap, but our lack of knowledge and appreciation for agriculture today measures up with civilizations past. To me, the global emphasis on agriculture by the FAO is an important recognition by international thought leaders.

Finally, I found an old copy of a book I read several years ago out of curiosity, Thomas More’s Utopia. At the core of his Utopian society was agriculture. Every single citizen was required to learn how to grow food by spending time farming. After all, how could any society survive without food? Even Utopia?

Hmm. Guess agriculture does have a future, and all the effort to make it more efficient and profitable for growers, consultants, and retailers is important work. Some things to think about as you dine on turkey, and remember that you work in the most important industry in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Market Impact Stories
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secrets
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessTrimble Launches New FMIS Platform
November 7, 2016
Trimble announced today that it is consolidating three of its agriculture software products — Connected Farm, Farm Works Software and Read More
Young Corn Field
Hort TechReport: Smart Farming Must Step Up To Meet The Global Challenge
November 2, 2016
The development of smart farming and precision agriculture must accelerate rapidly and learn lessons from smart city projects if it Read More
BusinessSenet, Trimble Enable IoT Powered North America Water Sensor Network
October 26, 2016
Senet, the first and only North American provider of public, low-power, wide-area networks (LPWANs) for long range-based (LoRa-based) Internet of Read More
Trending Articles
GVM E-Series cab
Ag Tech GlobalGlobalization And Precision Agriculture
December 7, 2016
Globalization has taken on a negative connotation in some circles in the U.S. in recent months. The lightning rod for Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To Enhance VRT Programs
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secrets
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Farmers
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
BusinessTrimble Launches New FMIS Platform
November 7, 2016
Trimble announced today that it is consolidating three of its agriculture software products — Connected Farm, Farm Works Software and Read More
Latest News
AgBot16 Challenge
Hort TechUSDA Announces $3 Million For Agricultural Robotics Res…
December 8, 2016
The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of $3 million in available funding for Read More
BASF Maglis Grower Tablet
Business ManagementPrecision Farming Forecast: 4 Challenges, Opportunities…
December 7, 2016
Opportunities and challenges. They are the yin and yang of the business world. It could easily be argued that, out Read More
GVM E-Series cab
Ag Tech GlobalGlobalization And Precision Agriculture
December 7, 2016
Globalization has taken on a negative connotation in some circles in the U.S. in recent months. The lightning rod for Read More
Buhler Versatile HQ cab
BusinessThe State Of Precision Ag In 2016
December 7, 2016
There’s no denying that precision technologies and practices are more vibrant than ever. Elsewhere on this site, you will find Read More
BusinessFarmobile Details New AGCO Distribution Deal
December 6, 2016
Farmobile today announced a strategic partnership with AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment. The agreement will allow Read More
Hort TechSol Chip Launches Autonomous, Wireless Solar Tag for Sm…
December 6, 2016
Sol Chip, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) systems and energy harvesting solutions, today announced the introduction of its Read More
TechnologyAgGateway Announces 2017 Board Of Directors And Leaders…
December 2, 2016
AgGateway has announced its leadership for the coming year, including the directors of its new Strategic Board and Operational Board, Read More
DataSentera Honored With Startup Award Of 2016 By Minnesota…
December 1, 2016
The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) recently recognized Sentera as the 2016 Tekne Startup Award recipient. The MHTA Tekne Awards Read More
AGCO AgControl
TechnologyPrecision Ag Technology: Rate Control For The Times
December 1, 2016
It’s not surprising that the need for more economical, effective application is driving the demand for the latest rate controllers Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To En…
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
Fall corn
BusinessInsecticide of the Future? Robotic Tanks With Lasers to…
November 22, 2016
*Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Topcon X30 Console in cab
Sensors/IoTIoT The Focus Of New Topcon Partnership
November 22, 2016
Topcon Agriculture and SDF plan to enter into a non-exclusive long-term partnership agreement. This latest arrangement of Topcon with a Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secr…
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
BusinessFarmobile Releases Mobile Data Visualization Dashboard
November 17, 2016
Farmobile today announced an EFR Dashboard, a real-time dashboard that helps farmers visualize their field data and derive insights to Read More
Southern States
Best PracticesSouthern States: 5 Tips for Variable-Rate Seeding Succe…
November 15, 2016
Success comes from taking advantage of every opportunity you can. One technique used in precision farming, called variable rate seeding, Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Far…
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
THRIVE
BusinessCall For Ag Tech Startups: Apply To THRIVE’s Open…
November 10, 2016
THRIVE is looking for high growth ag tech companies with an in-market solution that are positioned to scale. The top 50 Read More