It’s hard to believe that we’re in the final days of June and summer holidays await in just a few days. However, the warm, sunny weather and the smell of BBQing hamburgers tells me that this is the case. My team and I are looking forward to having some holidays this summer and we will take a break from writing and publishing blogs for July and August, returning refreshed for September.
In the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to travel and attend two very interesting events. The first was the COP-15 conference on biodiversity that was held in Montreal last December. This event brought together over 15,000 people and I was able to connect with regulators from Canada and other countries that I’ve previously met, and share some of our new research results with them. They are always interested in hearing about our research that better quantifies the increased sustainability of agriculture and food production.
The other opportunity was my trip this June to Vitoria, Brazil to participate in the EBBio Conference on biosafety. Learning about the wide variety of research occurring in Brazil was very interesting. Gene editing is widely used there, from creating disease resistant papaya to the editing of microbes used in generating ethanol from coconut husks. Coconut husks are very acidic and if left to decompose on the soil, it results in acidification of the soil, making it difficult to produce crops. Collecting the husks and using them as a source of biomass for ethanol production, produces green energy and benefits the environment. Brazil has been a global leader in the development of GM products and technologies and are poised to similarly continue in gene editing research.
I can also tell that summer is near as SAIFood has published another 40 blogs over the past 10 months. SAIFood continues to be recognized as a leading source of information on sustainability and agriculture, as it’s listed in 2nd position by one blog ranking website. My staff and students have made significant contributions by producing high quality and interesting blogs covering a wide variety of topics.
SAIFood wouldn’t be as successful as it is without contributions from all of my staff over the past year. The top-quality content, the graphics and the timely distribution are due to the hard work and efforts of Savannah Gleim, Chelsea Sutherland and Claire Williams. It’s a pleasure to work with these talented individuals week in and week out.
As we take a break for the next two months, on behalf of the SAIFood team, I’d like to wish everyone a relaxing and restful summer.