Socially Solving World Food Problems


   Farmers and ranchers cherish their interaction with other farmers and ranchers. It doesn't matter if they have farming practices in common or even if they live on the same continent. I have had the incredible experience these last 35 years to watch food producers build relationships, share information, solve problems, and become lifelong friends with each other. Men and women in agriculture, and by the way, women overwhelming lead in this category, recognize the importance of speaking with and meeting consumers. Still, it is not always what they prefer to do. I can't necessarily speak as a farmer, but I have tagged along on so many trade missions and university farm and ranch information exchange events around the globe. Simply stated, farmers and livestock producers are willing to share any information available if it will solve a problem for another farmer. 
   So, farmers self-identified the need and opportunity of creating a means for global food and agriculture to talk amongst themselves. Now, they needed a place to speak and socially engage with each other, along with other food production minded individuals all over the globe. Agriculturalists with a mindset and determination to solve the world's food production problems need to be able to communicate, not only with each other but with university researchers, crop consultants, animal specialists, including veterinarians and even nutritionists and dieticians. And while dreaming about how to reach the top of the mountain, why not create a global path forward. After all, U.S. farmers could undoubtedly learn about water conservation from those growing food in South America and countless countries in Africa. At the same time, we have animal and crop disease information here in the U.S. that could prove invaluable to farmers and ranchers all over the world. 
   AgWiki, a social media and internet news platform, was launched this past year to address all these opportunities and many more. The goal was simple, solve world food problems socially. World hunger and evolving subsistence farming was the initial goal. Could one farmer lift another farmer up and help them grow more food using the same or similar resources? From there, AgWiki developers thought it crucial to focus on topics like crop and animal production, conservation, gardening, plant-based food, cellular meat, and sustainability – doing more with less. Most recently, the coronavirus pandemic has been a massive topic in agriculture around the globe. Watching the transparency of one farmer dealing with another on such an emotional issue as euthanizing animals or destroying acres and acres of vegetable crops is a powerful experience. AgWiki is explicitly designed to foster this type of communication. 
   Rancher to rancher, farmer to a registered dietician, or even a U.S. land grant researchers discussion about growing crops in saline soils with an MIT professor in Massachusetts can benefit everyone involved. Sharing information and building relationships to feed a hungry planet sustainably is why AgWiki exists. In the coming weeks, I will share more information on this topic, and I want to encourage all of you to go to and become part of the conversation. There is over 140 different food and ag-related topics to select from, as well as weather and market information. From reading this, you understand the goal is not to be everything to everyone in social media. It is simply a comprehensive tool to address critical topics where food producers and other experts in the industry can add value and even save lives. ∆
   RANDY P. KROTZ: CEO- AgWiki, Inc. 
MidAmerica Farm Publications, Inc
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