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Ag Day 2011 – An Opportunity for New Leadership in Agriculture
By: Dr. William Lesher, Executive Director of Global Harvest Initiative
*This post originally appeared in the official Ag Day blog on February 28, 2011.
We can all learn from the impressive vision of a small group of farmers that came together in 1928 and formed the Future Farmers of America and their goal of preparing future generations to address the challenges of a growing population, roughly two billion at that time.
Fast forward 83 years to 2011—the year that global population will hit seven billion—and their goal is more important than ever. The Ag Day events in Washington D.C. are a unique opportunity for young people to demonstrate new leadership in agriculture that will make a real difference in increasing agricultural productivity to help alleviate hunger and poverty worldwide.
It is no secret that the challenges of feeding the growing global population are significant. In fact, in the next 50 years agriculture will be called upon to produce more food than in the previous 10,000 years combined! On top of that, we must accomplish this goal while freezing or shrinking the environmental footprint of agriculture, because we can no longer increase our use of land, water and other resources. In effect, we must grow two blades of grass where one once grew.
But the Global Harvest Initiative believes that by focusing on key policies and encouraging young people to get involved in the agricultural solutions of the future, we can meet these challenges and provide the food, feed, fuel and shelter to provide for the 9 billion people projected to inhabit the earth by 2050.
The Global Harvest Initiative is proud to sponsor the 2011 Ag Day events and the opportunities they provide.