Cultivating Your Understanding
Meanwhile, the other half of participants enjoyed learning about how beef checkoff dollars are used within the Iowa Beef Council, and how the Beef Council is used for more promotional purposes. The participants really enjoyed listening to what Nancy had to say about Iowa’s unique majority of corn fed cattle due to the amount of corn grown in close proximity. Students also were able to gain knowledge of Iowa’s soybean industry while listening to Kirk Leeds speak at Iowa Soybean Growers. We were especially interested in soybean bi-products such as their use in foam for seating in cars.
Upon returning to the Pioneer campus, participants debriefed the morning’s activities and enjoyed some lunch. Judd O’Connor, VP of Sales in North America for Pioneer, spoke to us on the future of pioneer genetics and continued research. Pioneer’s money is certainly where its mouth is in terms of research, as 14 cents of every dollar earned is used for new research and development of new corn hybrids and soybean seeds.
The participants were then honored to have Jim Wiesemeyer (Senior VP, Informa Economics) speak on Ag Policy. Interesting facts included:
- Due to the growing population, food production must increase 50% by 2030, and 70% by 2050
- China surpassed the US in energy demands and automobile construction, and are currently investing most of their money in infrastructure.
- The Free Trade agreement in South Korea currently has a 40% tariff on beef and pork imports, and yet there is still strong demand.
“AGVOCATE!” This was the common theme in Debbie Lyons-Blyth’s presentation. She is mother, wife, and rancher from Kansas and has made it her obligation to advocate for the beef and agriculture industry. “ZIP” Beef is a great way for promoting the beef industry as beef is a great source of zinc, iron and protein.
Students finished out the night with dinner and fellowship at The Machine Shed restaurant. Following the meal students worked on their vision statements for their own operations. They were then able to learn about other participants enterprises by doing speed rounds of Ag in a Bag.
Left: Debbie shared her experience and use of social media to connect with consumers and advocate for the agriculture industry.
Grant Mackey, Kentucky and Colton Buus, South Dakota