Dr. Richard Crowder was able to speak to the VALOR fellows during our November seminar, “Addressing Agriculture Issues”. Our group started this seminar on the Land Grant campus of Virginia Tech, where Dr. Crowder is currently serving as an adjunct professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. On January 14, 2013, the American Farm Bureau Federation presented him with it’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award for his years of service in promoting American Agriculture. It was fortunate for us to meet with a seasoned United States Agriculture Negotiator just months ahead of the VALOR international trip to Argentina.
Dr. Crowder provided a global perspective of agricultural issues and the delicate relationship we hold with many countries. As world population increases so must our collective global food supply. The challenge to meet increasing world food demand is met by access to fresh water, fertile land and new technology.
In the United States and abroad the technology debate continues with the use of genetically modified, altered or enhanced seeds. What is your attitude regarding the subject of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO seeds used in the food supply chain? Do we have adequate technology to grow seeds or infrastructure dedicated to move these seeds for processing?
The VALOR fellows will continue to collect and disseminate facts or attitudes and balance that information next to the economic and political trends. We have much to absorb by walking the ground in Agrentina. As we prepare for our trip and educate ourselves on Argentina’s culture, I am reminded of Dr. Crowder’s words “opportunity comes to the mentally well prepared mind”. On behalf of VALOR, I sincerely thank Dr. Crowder for meeting with our group.