We no longer live in a world where you can ignore the things happening around the globe. I have been blessed to have the chance to see agriculture in over 14 countries around the world, and the one thing I have learned is that we have a lot to learn!
While I encourage everyone to see the world for themselves, I am the first to admit that it can be very hard to get away from our family and our farms, let alone the cost can be daunting. But that does not mean we can ignore it. We all have to be citizens of the world.
I have watched farmers raise guinea pigs for food in Ecuador because that is the only protein they have space to raise. I have watched farmers in Tanzania struggle to deal with harsh environments and poor technology causing low yields. I have seen farmers in the UK try to explain the many animal rights regulations put on them, causing them to change everything they do. And I have seen farmers in Brazil willingly give up to 80 percent of their farmland to natural forest in an attempt to improve the environment.
In more than one part of the world, I have had conversations with people telling me that they watch our country and our government as a model of first world success. Everything we do politically and agriculturally in the United States has ramifications around the world. It behooves us to be educated about how that same world is affecting what we do. Our global partners around the world influence our trade policy, our technology, and add fodder for those against us. Take a look at the anti-GMO blogs and you are bound to find an argument or two talking about GMO labels in the UK and certain chemicals being banned in multitudes of countries. If we want to lobby and advocate effectively, we cannot ignore what others are doing.
Maybe you can’t run to Brazil to better understand the world soybean market tomorrow, but you can be informed. Take some time to follow news online or get it delivered to your inbox through sources like Agri-Pulse.
As I mentioned earlier, as part of the Farm Bureau’s PAL program I was recently in Brazil with Monsanto looking at agriculture and trade. Check out my class’s blog about our trip and learn a little about the issues Brazil faces in a time of political unrest.
Pictured above is the PALS Class in Brazil.
SUBSCRIBE to receive the biweekly eletter with a different featured editor to meet each issue.