Anthony and I have been blessed to work with Veteran farmers across the United States. Our service to these farmers and our collaborative efforts with agricultural organizations and institutes have opened doors we didn’t know existed. These opportunities have included supporting and advocating for agricultural policy, both in the state of Nebraska and in Washington D.C., as well as being asked to speak at a variety of conferences. Each opportunity has allowed us to network with leaders in the agricultural industry, farmers, both large and small, and state representatives. This network of individuals opened yet another door for our farm and our family. Two weeks ago, we were invited to speak at the Farm Foundations semi-annual Round Table meeting.
Farm Foundation is an agricultural policy institute cultivating dynamic non-partisan collaboration to meet society’s needs for food, fiber, feed and energy. Since 1933, the foundation has connected leaders in farming, business, academia, organizations and government through proactive, rigorous debate and objective issue analysis.
Learning from Others
The highlight of this particular invitation was getting to learn from leaders in the agriculture industry. The amount of technology, innovative thought, processes, strategy, and planning that goes into growing food for our country is by far one of the most amazing enterprises we have had the pleasure to work in. A large section of this learning involved tours to include: the University of Nebraska’s Innovation Campus (NIC), Innovation Studio, Greenhouse Innovation Center & Food Innovation Center, University of Nebraska’s Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (ENREC), and lectures from transportation experts at Union Pacific and Werner Trucking.
The technology behind the agricultural industry is mammoth. On our small farm we dream about setting our barns up on WiFi with doors and cameras we can control when we are in a different pasture or off the farm. But learning from companies who utilizes facilities and equipment to gather data that records drought tolerant plants, C02 levels, 3D imaging to build equipment, equipment that uses pressure to extend the shelf life of guacamole so consumers can enjoy a product longer… we were amazed!
Anthony and I have always been advocates for food choice. Food choice refers to how people decide on what to buy and consume. Factors such as culture, heritage and up-bringing all influence food choice. Consumers like yourself look for prices when you need to stick to a budget, or look for allergen information if you have a food allergy. Food choice is also influenced by other characteristics that correspond to personal preferences (e.g., sustainability labels for fair trade, organic labels or health-related information such as health claims). The fantastic thing about being in agriculture is that all size farms are working together for a common cause. Together we are servicing the whole community of people’s needs and desires when it comes to food and food commodities. It was encouraging being with a group of industry leaders who see the importance for all sizes of farming methods and agree with allowing consumers like yourself the freedom to continue to have food choices.
Thank you Farm Foundation for the opportunity to share with your members and thank you for teaching us so much.
Love, Anthony & Mariel