US Farmer’s Calling is to Save the World

Posted: September 11, 2014 in agriculture, corn, farming, technology

As a farmer, what do you think your calling is? This is something I have not thought. Am I here just to have 40 chances to raise a crop? Am I here just to provide for my family? Do I just want to play with cool new toys whether they be big combines, drones or new seed technologies? OR is my calling a higher calling?

On Thursday we had the opportunity to meet with 3 different groups:
Korea Feed Association (KFA)
-Nonghyup Feed Inc (NOFI)
Sunkwang Co Ltd port grain handling facility at Incheon

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What was interesting with these meetings is that they all had the similar messages and similar concerns. While they really like US corn there have been major issues especially with broken kernels as of late. Trying to reason through this has become a challenge. Does the corn have a lower protein content due to higher yields? Is it due to breeding corn more to ethanol production? Is it because of the specific location that the corn is grown? Or is it due to the fact that 2013 required a lot of corn to be heat dried in many areas that deliver to the Pacific Northwrest (PNW)?

I think everyone in our group would agree this lead to a lot more questions than answers for us. It also lead us to realize that there are many things we cannot control when trying to deliver a product to a specific market. Each hybrid has different qualities when mixed together may have a positive effect on grain going to a specific market or it may have a negative effect. This is something that as the American farmer we may not be able to control.

While I cannot control a lot of these issues, I do understand their frustrations and questions. But even as we heard these issues there was one important statement that stuck with me. It was when we met with NOFI. One of the gentleman we met with, Na Sumin, made the following statement:

The US farmer’s calling is to save the world

We always talk about “feeding the world” but I have never had anyone say we are to “save the world”. This really stuck with me. We are the innovators of the world, whether it is biotechnology or equipment or software, it is who we are. We have the ability to spread that knowledge throughout the world. This knowledge is what will allow other farmers in other areas to become more efficient in their production so their families, neighbors and communities can eat better and have a higher quality of life. This is something I believe each of us as the American farmer needs to take a hard look at. What am I doing to help “save the world?”

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Market place at night

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