South America is a long way from my farm near Reston, Manitoba. I left home on November 11 as the farmer representative on the South American leg of the 2018 Canadian wheat new crop missions.
Most farmers are reluctant to talk about modern agriculture. Our own industry advertisements promote the image of a farm with a faded red barn and a few chickens running about in a pastoral setting.
The world has entered a new age of nationalism, resulting in growing trade protectionism and increasing barriers for Canadian farmers and exporters who depend on international markets.
There is a common adage in agriculture “wheat is fourteen percent protein and eighty-six percent politics.” This was often applied in the era of debates over marketing, but it can still be fit today on many issues in agriculture.
It has been said by quite a few people that organizations are best defined by what they oppose versus what they support. That seems like too cynical of a view of the world. I want to talk about what we stand for.
I likely can’t count the number of times I have spoken or written the words science-based. It is a mantra of sorts. And for good reason.
Organized by Cereals Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission and the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI), the 2017 New Crop Missions will visit 18 countries, each of which are Canada’s top customers for wheat.
In the words of Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”
It is hard to believe, but the genetic engineering technology that gave us herbicide resistant canola, corn and soybeans is yesterday’s science.