Today I’d like to share with you about an event I recently attended. It is called the Iowa Hunger Summit. It is held in conjunction with the World Food Prize conference. The World Food Prize is an amazing opportunity to hear world leaders talk about agriculture and the impact it has on feeding the world. It is a three-day event. The Iowa Hunger Summit is a one-day event and occurs the day before the World Food Prize conference. Its focus is primarily on the state of Iowa from two perspectives – from the perspective of food security issues across the state and also from the perspective of organizations from Iowa that are making a difference when it comes to ensuring hungry people get fed – either hungry people within our state or across the globe.
The Iowa Hunger Summit is time well spent. This was my second year attending. I would encourage anyone who has the chance to take in this worthwhile opportunity. And, it is free and open to the public, which is amazing considering all the learning that takes place. Just as there are speakers throughout the World Food Prize conference, there are speakers talking about a variety of subjects pertaining to agriculture at the Iowa Hunger Summit. One of the speakers was A.G. Kawamura, former California Secretary of Agriculture and co-chair, Solutions From the Land Dialogue. Of all the things he talked about, the thing that was most striking to me is that he stressed the importance of constantly taking inventory on whether or not a certain farming practice is helping or hurting the future of the land, which in turn impacts whether it is helping or hurting the future of society. I appreciate that candor and openness to not be locked in to supporting one kind of farming practice but to evaluate everything and be able to articulate why one practice is being employed over another, all things considered.
This is the key to the success of being a change-agent in the world – being able to step back and objectively evaluate what we are doing. Because we can all take steps to making the world a better place. The trick is to evaluate what each of us is doing and determining the level of impact it is having. And, being willing to consider making a change if there might be a better way.
At the Summit I was also able to visit with people from organizations across the state and the globe that are trying to impact the future of food security. I visited with a scientist from South Africa who studies crops and seed development. I visited with an associate from Columbia University, NYC, who was sharing information on a portable soil tester that is being utilized in developing nations so that it is easier for farmers to test their soil because the samples can be evaluated on site and the results known immediately so that improvements can be made in a more timely fashion.
It was an educational day and again, if you are able to attend the Iowa Hunger Summit, it is held every October, the day before the World Food Prize. I highly recommend it.
Have a great day!