Future of Agriculture

Future of Agriculture – Evidence-Based Agriculture and Defining Sustainability with Marc Brazeau of Food and Farm Discussion Lab


Marc Brazeau is the Chief Organizer and Editor at Food and Farm Discussion Lab, a food system think tank and online magazine for people within the agriculture industry to share evidence-based solutions, ideas, and concepts related to sustainable agriculture, hunger and food security, and public health and nutrition concerns. With previous experience as a chef and restaurant owner as well as organizing unions within the agriculture space, he brings a unique perspective to the food-to-table movement. He is passionate about helping others form their opinions regarding agricultural issues based on evidence, science, and facts.

Marc joins me today to share how he became interested in evidence-based agriculture concerns, what inspired him to create the Food and Farm Discussion Lab, and how his views of food sustainability have evolved. He explains the variables that affect the global sustainability of food, why he believes scalability is a critical factor to consider when addressing food sustainability matters, and the issues that he believes have become over-hyped within the industry.

 

“If you’re not dealing with corn, soy, wheat, forage crops, or meat, then you’re not really having a serious conversation about sustainability.” – Marc Brazeau

 

This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • What inspired him to start the Food and Farm Discussion Lab.
  • The pivotal moment that lead him to begin searching for evidence-based information regarding sustainability issues in agriculture.
  • How agriculture professionals currently view the term “sustainability” and how we should transition to more productive views.
  • The variables that create the most impact on the global food sustainability crisis.
  • Why corn, soy, wheat, meat, and forage crops are critical to the overall scalability factor of food sustainability.
  • Over-hyped technologies and initiatives within the agriculture industry related to food sustainability.
  • How his views and opinions regarding food sustainability have evolved since starting the Food and Farm Discussion Lab.

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Connect with Marc Brazeau:

 

 

Join Our 100th Episode Celebration!

We are celebrating the Future of Agriculture Podcast’s 100th episode – and we want to celebrate with you! Visit SpeakPipe.com/FutureofAg to record your voice and tell us which Future of Agriculture Podcast episode was your number 1 favorite – and why! Who knows? We may even play your voice in a future episode! Head over to SpeakPipe.com/FutureofAg today to record your voice and share your favorite episode with us.

 

 

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

 

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.

 

Share the Ag-Love!

 

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

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Future of Agriculture – For Profit Approach to International Ag Development with Richard Lackey of World Food Bank


Richard Lackey is the Chairman and CEO of the World Food Bank, an organization founded in 2015 to provide sustainable solutions to the food security and hunger issues around the world. He is a highly-regarded expert in the trading and securities industry and is passionate about finding solutions that will help end world hunger.

Richard joins me today to share the driving force behind World Food Bank, their mission, and how their unique program is designed to significantly impact the food security and hunger issues we currently face worldwide. He explains how his systematized approach helps impact the world from an economic standpoint and why systematic approaches are more sustainable solutions to combating world hunger and poverty. He explains how they use model farms to help farmers in third-world countries gain access to the tools, techniques, and strategies that can improve their crop grades, quality, and profits. He also shares his prediction for investors considering food as a future asset commodity and the potential impact that a single 5,000-acre farm can have on the lives of those living in countries such as Uganda.

 

“The ability to now store commodities for years and years – and maintain grade – is a game-changer.” – Richard Lackey

 

This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • The food security issues that the World Food Bank focuses on solving.
  • What is post-harvest loss and how it impacts the export market worldwide?
  • How they use model farms as an educational tool within third-world countries.
  • Why organizations are beginning to shift their focus from project-based programs to systematic solutions.
  • How the company works with investors and creates profits.
  • The technology they use to store commodities and remove the calendar risk associated with long storage periods.
  • How his organization helps third-world countries mitigate and control price volatility.
  • How the systematic approach is impacting the lives of farmers as well as the poverty crisis within third-world countries.
  • His prediction on investors considering food commodities as an asset class in the future.
  • The potential impact that one sustainable farm can have in a third-world country.
  • How they determine how well crop genetics will work within each region.

 

Connect with Richard Lackey:

 

Join Our 100th Episode Celebration!

We are celebrating the Future of Agriculture Podcast’s 100th episode – and we want to celebrate with you! Visit SpeakPipe.com/FutureofAg to record your voice and tell us which Future of Agriculture Podcast episode was your number 1 favorite – and why! Who knows? We may even play your voice in a future episode! Head over to SpeakPipe.com/FutureofAg today to record your voice and share your favorite episode with us.

 

 

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

 

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.

 

Share the Ag-Love!

 

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – Getting Started in Farming with Tom Bottoms


Tom Bottoms earned his bachelor’s degree in Plant Sciences from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and in 2013, he received his Ph.D. in Horticulture and Agronomy from the University of California. He currently works as an employee of a large farming operation based in Northern California with the intention of eventually accumulating his own farm land and building his own operation.

Tom joins me today to share what inspired him to work in the agriculture industry and what motivated him to continue his education in agriculture. He shares why he decided to pivot his career from agriculture academia to work in the private sector, his experience while working with the African Leadership Partners in Swaziland, Africa and the challenges he has faced and overcome while helping a small farm operation significantly grow during his missionary operation in Africa. He also explains the importance of networking and building relationships within the farming industry to help you achieve your goals as a professional, the importance of self-awareness and professional development, and tips on how to get started in farming.

 

“You’ve got to continue to develop yourself – to put yourself in a situation where you’re learning about the industry.” – Tom Bottoms

 

This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Tom’s experience as a missionary in Africa.
  • How he helped the African farm operation become successful.
  • How he balances his personal life while advancing his career.
  • The importance of networking with others in the industry and how it has impacted his career.
  • The farming operation he is currently working with.
  • Why he believes setting firm, inflexible deadlines on certain goals is dangerous.
  • The importance of focusing on improving processes more than the financial opportunities available when you are just starting out in farming.
  • The importance of building trust within your farm operation.
  • How to get started in farming.
  • Assets that young professionals can offer to established farming operations.

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Tom Bottom’s Tips for Getting Started in Farming:

  1. Try to keep your day job as long as you can while you are trying to get started.
  2. Ask yourself what you are doing now to make it possible.
  3. Read and understand how basic farming operations work.
  4. Question everything.

 

Connect with Tom Bottoms:

 

 

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

 

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.

 

Share the Ag-Love!

 

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – Could Organic and GMO be on the Same Team with Rob Saik


Rob Saik is the founder of the Agri-Trend® group of companies whose primary goal is to help farmers grow food through agriculture consulting services in areas such as agronomic production, carbon-offset trading, grain marketing strategies, and data management systems for producers around the world. He is the creator of The Agri-Prize contest series, a TEDx and keynote speaker, and the author of the book The Agriculture Manifesto – 10 Key Drivers That Will Shape Agriculture in the Next Decade which has earned an Amazon 2014 Best of Books award. Additionally, he is the Executive Producer of the movie KNOW GMO as well as the webisode series LEARN GMO.

 

Rob joins me today to discuss the mission behind The Agri-Trend and the connection between the organic movement and the non-GMO movement. He explains how he believes GMOs can impact the future of agriculture, sustainability, and the food supply around the world as well as the impact they can have on the health of consumers. He also shares why he believes many consumers refuse to use GMO-friendly products and the importance of due diligence when educating yourself about organic and genetically engineered crops.

 

“Most of what you are reading about GMOs on social media are an absolute distortion of the truth.” – Rob Saik

 

This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • How Agri-Trend helps farmers allocate scarce resources.
  • The impact that banning GMO products have had on certain countries and cultures.
  • The connection between the organic movement and the non-GMO movement.
  • What farmers should consider to grow more crops organically.
  • Why farmers shouldn’t be at odds when deciding to grow organically or become GMO-friendly.
  • Why he believes many people think GMOs are bad or unhealthy.
  • How “organic” and “non-GMO” food labels are misleading consumers.
  • How GMOs can contribute to the agriculture industry’s long-term sustainability.
  • The impact that embracing genetically modified food can have on the world’s starvation crisis and consumer health.

 

Connect With Rob Saik:

 

 

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

 

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.

 

Share the Ag-Love!

 

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – Ag Literacy for Kids with Simone Kain of George the Farmer


Simone Kain is the co-creator of George the Farmer, a social enterprise that focuses on educating kids about proper farming practices as well as how food and fiber are produced using apps, music, videos, picture books, and free curriculum-aligned educator’s guides. She drew inspiration from a 2012 survey in Australia that shows 10-12-year-old students don’t know where their food comes from. Simone describes George the Farmer as “everyone’s mate” and tackles the daily activities of Australian farming with passion.

 

In this episode, Simone explains how George the Farmer educates children. She shares the story behind George the Farmer, how they structured their app, and why knowing where your food comes from is essential. She also discusses the need for people to learn that a career in agriculture is not always about farming and how George the Farmer aims to do just that.

 

“We try to get kids to start thinking about the amazing opportunities available in agriculture.” – Simone Kain

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • The origins of George the Farmer.
  • What their app aims to do.
  • Who their market is and their target age group.
  • Their response from those who don’t have a farm background.
  • How kids have benefited from their app.
  • Their future projects for George the Farmer
  • Their process in trying to get George the Farmer in television.
  • The challenges they’ve faced
  • What surprised her the most in this project?

 

Connect with Simone Kain:

 

 

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

 

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.

 

Share the Ag-Love!

 

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – CrowdFARMING with Chris Rawley of Harvest Returns


Chris Rawley conceived the idea of crowdfunding platforms for agriculture while visiting a farm investment in Central America. He would soon start Harvest Returns, a crowdfunding company that serves investors looking to diversify their portfolio and invest their money on actual farms. Before founding Harvest Returns, Chris obtained corporate management roles in various companies and once served as a defense consultant at Special Operations Command Headquarters thanks to his military experience. He has been investing in real estate and agriculture for almost twenty years.

 

In this episode, Chris discusses how his company helps both farmers and investors. He shares how he got the idea of starting Harvest Returns, the company’s main goals, and what makes them different from other agricultural crowdsourcing platforms. He also shares some of their recent projects as well as some of their strategies in handling difficult markets.

 

“Agriculture is for people with long-term investment horizons.” – Chris Rawley

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • What is equity crowdfunding?
  • Who are their primary clients?
  • What does Harvest Returns invest in?
  • What assurance do investors have that their farm will be well managed?
  • What would compel farmers to give up some of their ownership to get money?
  • How do they handle a two-sided marketplace?
  • How does their company make money?
  • What made them start the company?
  • How many deals have they closed so far?

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Connect with Chris Rawley:

 

 

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.

 

Share the Ag-Love!

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – Farmer and Rancher Advocacy with RJ Karney of the American Farm Bureau Federation


RJ Karney is the Congressional Relations Director of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), an organization founded in 1919 that aims to be the country’s Voice of Agriculture. He is a government relation specialist with over nine years of regulatory advocacy and federal policy experience. His position at AFBF makes him a federal lobbyist whose goal is to get the government to listen to the different problems farmers experience as well as solutions that require government backing. He specializes in rural development, unmanned aircraft systems, broadband, and economic development.

 

In this episode, RJ shares AFBF’s advocacies as well as their various goals for agriculture. He shares what AFBF is all about, their projects, and their insight for the future of agriculture. He explains the importance of internet connection for crop and ranchlands, why the opportunities in rural America go beyond farming and ranching, and why 80% of farmer income is not through farming.

 

“We have to change the narrative that there aren’t opportunities in rural America.” – RJ Karney

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • What is the American Farm Bureau Federation?
  • What do they mean when they say they are a grassroots organization?
  • Some of the projects he’s worked on.
  • What is their advocacy from a legislative standpoint?
  • How they balance the needs of certain farmer groups versus other farmer groups if they are at odds.
  • Areas that can positively impact rural economies.
  • What is the Farm Bill and why is it important?
  • American Farm Bureau Federation’s diverse farm members.

 

Connect with RJ Karney:

 

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.

 

Share the Ag-Love!

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – The Role of Cooperative Extension in Modern Agriculture with Dr. Jason de Koff


Dr. Jason de Koff is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at Tennessee State University. He holds a Ph.D in agronomy from Perdue University and has received numerous awards including the NACAA Achievement Award and the TAAA&S Communications Award (Learning Module Southeast Region) in 2016.

Dr. de Koff joins me on today’s episode to discuss how cooperative extension programs are helping to spread unbiased information throughout the agriculture industry to help improve the future of agriculture. He also explains how cooperative extensions are encouraging the future of careers in agriculture, how they are helping new farmers get started in the agriculture industry, and how drones can be used in agricultural production.

 

“Cooperative extension agents are really the unsung heroes of the extension program.” – Dr. Jason de Koff

 

This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • The history of cooperative extension programs and how the organization was funded.
  • The importance of the cooperative extension providing an unbiased voice in the agriculture community.
  • Who the cooperative extension programs help on a day-to-day basis.
  • Project examples of how the cooperative extension programs work.
  • What are “needs assessments” and how they help cooperative extensions decide which projects to focus on next.
  • How cooperative extensions work with private industries.
  • How they are helping new farmers learn valuable skills in the agriculture industry.
  • How they are educating farmers and children to use drones in agriculture.
  • Evaluating project effectiveness for the USDA and stakeholders.
  • How to learn more about cooperative extension programs in your local area.

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Connect with Dr. Jason de Koff:

Future of Agriculture – Final Perspectives on Blockchain with James Song and Alex Danco

James Song is the CEO and Founder of ExsulCoin, a startup based on blockchain technology that focuses on helping solve the world’s refugee crisis. A large part of this project is an app he developed called Exsul. Exsul delivers free basic education and is currently undergoing tests at a refugee camp in Bangladesh.

 

Alex Danco is an Associate at Social Capital, a group consisting of technologists, capitalists, and philanthropists who find and fund startups that can help change the world for the better. Alex is what you call a futurist, a person who always looks at things in a very, very long-term perspective.

 

In this episode, James discusses what ExsulCoin is all about and why they decided to focus on the growing refugee problem. He shares ExsulCoin’s mission, projects, and why they preferred to establish a strong foothold in Myanmar. Alex shares his thoughts on the future of cryptocurrencies. He shares his opinions on the ICO trend and why most of them are no different from Ponzi schemes. He explains why offering a big ICO can make users lose interest in a company’s projects and provides his tips to those who want to get involved in blockchain with agriculture applications in mind.

 

“The more serious the idea and the better the development team behind it, the less companies will need to do one of these ICOs in the first place.” – Alex Danco

 

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • Should we be concerned with limited transactions regarding cryptocurrency?
  • What is ExsulCoin and what is it all about?
  • What is Nanowork?
  • How does ExsulCoin commit to confidentiality?
  • What’s going on in Myanmar and why James chose to invest in that country.
  • Why most ICOs are just get rich quick schemes.
  • How to tell the difference between legitimate ICOs and those that scam others.
  • Why doing a big ICO is actually a bad marketing strategy.
  • Alex’s tips when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies.
  • The best way to get involved in blockchain and support its growth.
  • What people who want to be involved in both agriculture and blockchain should invest in.

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Connect with James Song:

 

 

Connect with Alex Danco

 

 

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.

 

Share the Ag-Love!

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – Farmer and Rancher Perspectives on Data, Blockchain and the Consumer with Jerod McDaniel

Jerod McDaniel is a farmer and cattleman from Texhoma, Oklahoma. He is progressive when it comes to farm-related data, and new technology and practices. He is quite open and excited about the idea behind blockchain and how it would impact farmers like him. Jerod took over his grandfather’s farm in 1995 when he was just 18 years old which has enabled him to acquire the necessary skills for traditional farming as well as learn and integrate new ways to make the different processes involved much more efficient. He is considered one of the agriculture industry’s top Twitter influencers.

In this episode, Jerod discusses what farmers like him expect from blockchain technology. He shares some of the issues farmers and ranchers currently face and their current solutions, and how blockchain technology can elevate the systems they already have in place. He also describes the importance of having the right data when it comes to breeding with the right genetics and how it can make an otherwise slow year profitable.

“The best thing about blockchain technology is it would unify the platform people use.”– Jerod McDaniel

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

How much do farmers value data?
Why, even with data, it would be difficult to remove the farmer from farming.
What data is he collecting now that he didn’t previously?
Data points regarding cows he is more interested in.
How will blockchain help ranchers?
When it comes to data, what makes the beef industry different from the poultry and swine industries?
His opinion on the cryptocurrency trend?

Connect with Jerod McDaniel:

Twitter

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.

Share the Ag-Love!

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots!

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram