Happy New Year, from SAIFood

SAIFood’s 2016 Resolutions

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="15180628"][printfriendly]It is hard to believe that it was one year ago when Savannah and I were hectically working to ensure that everything was arranged and organized to be able to launch SAIFood at the start of February. We look forward to offering new insights on sustainability, agriculture, innovation and food over the course of the coming year.

One of the noticeable changes will be the addition of student blogs over the next five months. Last fall, I taught an introduction to agriculture policy course that included a class assignment to write a blog on a policy issue of their choice, with the top blogs being published on SAIFood. I was so happy with the quality that 15 student blogs will be published over the next few months. One week a month, we will publish three student blogs a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Each of the student blogs provides a great perspective on policy issues that are important to today’s students and young farmers.

Over the course of 2016, SAIFood will showcase where our food comes from and the vital role that farmers and producers of these foods play in our daily lives. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded of how important it is to have credible sources of information about agriculture and food. There isn’t a week that goes by without one or the other being a major news headline and sadly the mainstream media seems much more interested in the sensationalism of the story rather than present the important facts and issues. This coupled with misinformation offered by those critical of modern agricultural practices, means that the need has never been greater for reliable sources of information to communicate about what an exceptional industry agriculture is. In addition to how those that work within this industry care greatly about it and are (and have) working hard to ensure that they are doing the best things possible to ensure farming is productive, sustainable and profitable.

Too often urban dwellers take food for granted in North America and Europe. We have not seen or endured national food shortages for decades. This may be why many of us living in cities have become complacent about agriculture and its vital role in society. I look forward to being able to share some of the interesting things I see and learn week in and week out. To ensure that agricultural innovations and their benefits are not lost or delayed, the world needs to better understand how important agriculture is and how resilient farmers are.

As we kick off this New Year, I’d like to tip my hat and say a heartfelt “THANK YOU” to those who work long hours year-round to provide food for an increasingly hungry world. Farmers don’t get enough recognition these days for the work they do. This needs to change. Hopefully, 2016 is the year that this begins to happen. [shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="15180624"]


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