I’m not trying to be dramatic titling this The Future of Food but when contemplating a title after the Alltech One Conference this is what seemed fitting.
The Alltech Ideas Conference “ONE” #ONEbigidea
I’m not going to lie the opportunities I have been presented with since starting blogging continue to blow me away. And being invited to this conference ranks near the top. I have listened to friends talk about this conference, watched my Twitter stream come alive with their hashtag, #ONEBigIdea, and then read blog posts afterward but the opportunity to attend was truly amazing.
First I have to say that inviting people who are on the ground floor of food production, immersed daily in day one of food, is amazing and forward thinking. As a blogger being invited to events such as this and being dubbed media and treated as such I think shows that farmers are developing a strong voice with stories that consumers want to here and honestly need to hear.
The opening session and speakers were actually contagious with enthusiasm and positive thinking. It takes me a bit to soak in and comprehend things so what I ended up with was some tweets and note scribbles.
Listening to Dr Pearse Lyons speak, you can hear his passion for agriculture, consumers and the need to combine them.
My first time hearing him speak two quotes particularly stood out for me:
“Welcome to the journey…….the opportunity”
“Mom never said ‘Be Careful’”
Both full of words he has obviously lived by and are useful in all areas of life to each of us everyday.
I can only imagine what the next 2 days of information and learning would of held as I had to head back to central Indiana where we were finally able to continue planting.
As I spent the next few days in the seat of our John Deere 4440 pulling the soybean planter across acre after acre of beautiful prime farmland (and some not so prime but still suitable for production) I couldn’t help but roll over in my mind the ONE Vision.
So your probably asking yourself….”What is One Vision”? I’m simply going to copy what’s in my media kit as the description because, well it’s an accurate description.
“…experience a planet of plenty, where technology and science align in order to produce nutritious food for the world’s 9 billion inhabitants. Attendees will be guided through a 10,000 square foot virtual planet, where they can witness a world in harmony with its three essential elements: land, air and water. Given that United Nations predictions place 66% of the population in urban area by 2050, ONE Vision will allow attendees to step into vertical farms in the center of a city. Across the globe, the farms of the future are thriving as their animals achieve their genetic potential, producing more with less, all while reversing soil degradation d and reducing water use, waste and emissions.”
We, here in the United States, are blessed with acre after acre of ground that is not only suitable for growing an abundance of nutritious safe food but ideal. However, acre by acre of it is disappearing due to disorganized unplanned urban sprawl. It not only effects crop production but animal production as well.
I was mesmerized as I walked through the ‘display’ at the ingenuity that went into utilizing what might be all that is left by 2050 to produce food for those that are going to be here. I have to wonder while we possess the know how to farm atop buildings and grow food in arid desserts why don’t we also work towards better planning, understanding science helps produce safe abundant food and educating the general public on the resources we are developing in production agriculture that will help feed 9 billion people – modern production agriculture is up for the challenge.
But what I take away from a lot of this is I wonder where your middle of the road consumer lies……..they, you, me – we all ultimately vote with our food dollars at the grocery store. We can read and ‘like’ all you want about how we should feed family nothing but nonGMO foods and meat that has never had antibiotics but when we go to Walmart and no one is looking over our shoulder it’s awful easy to bypass that case of ‘all natural antibiotic free grass fed pasture raised pork chop’ with the hefty price tag and grab those Walmart brand pork chops that are cheaper and every bit as safe to feed your family after a busy day of work, running children and living life!
Farmers will produce what is demanded but the kind of food those screaming on social media are asking for carries a hefty price tag for all sides. Be sure as a middle of the road consumer your voice is being heard just as clear as the squeaky wheel!