This morning I walked down to the mailbox with my most recent National Agricultural Statistics survey report. As I walked, I carried with it a certain frustration with this seasonal task. If you are not prompt in completing this report, daily phone calls or personal visits will follow from the USDA. It seems that the government never misses an opportunity to pry into our personal life or business. Then it occurred to me that without the crop and livestock production information collected by USDA, our Nation would not be able to evaluate our food supply. In a Country like the United States, we often take for granted our food supply and daily nutritional requirements.
Two weeks ago as a VALOR fellow, we had the opportunity to visit the United States Department of Agriculture at our Nation’s Capital. We were given an overview of a few programs and initiatives that focus on food and nutrition. One such initiative is Strike Force. This initiative aims to increase investment in rural communities with the help of faith based groups, volunteer organizations and USDA technical assistance.
The United Nations predicts that world population will grow to 9.1 billion by 2040. With this growth, greater demand is placed on food supply and access to appropriate nutrition. Furthermore, increasing rates of prosperity in the U.S. and developing countries add more demand to the food matrix. I find it essential that we embrace multiple methods of food production which includes the use of new technology and seeds to hydroponic food production and locally sourced holistic food. Producing food for a nation is no small task and can be frustrating at times. Nevertheless, growing and providing food to those who need it is emotionally satisfying. However, I am mindful of political opinions that sometimes jeopardize traditional food access within a community. Providing tools to a community to fish is far better than providing a fish.
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