Imagine winning the lottery. Not the lottery with millions of dollars, but the lottery of people. Imagine that you have the chance of being reborn into this same world. Of the 7 million people in the world, each person has a one in 7 million chance of being reborn as the same person again. What are the chances you are reborn as a middle class American with enough food to eat, clothing to wear and shelter?
At the beginning of November, I attended the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leaders Conference where Howard G. Buffet was honored as an AFA Leader in Agriculture Award winner. In his acceptance speech, he reminded each of the delegates that we, as American agriculturists with food, clothing, clean water and shelter, have the winning lottery tickets. We may not be millionaires or billionaires, but we do not have to worry about where we’ll get our next meal. Our worry isn’t on whether or not our water is clean and safe to drink. We don’t need to be burdened looking for clothing to wear or a shelter to protect us from the elements. Just by being born in America, we have won the lottery.
As we look to the future, farmers have the resources to provide for the growing population. Researchers continue to develop, change and improve agricultural technologies. Ensuring the availability and access to technologies that will assist in providing a sustainable source of food for people around the world will increase the number of people who possess winning tickets.
Each day at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a world renowned research institution, I am surrounded by students and faculty who are conducting research which will continue to enhance agricultural production practices. As I attend lectures and discussions I am able to learn more about technologies on the forefront of development. Technology isn’t some far off concept; innovative ways of production are crafted and explored daily. It is exciting to be part of a generation that will develop technology to continually increase the number of winning tickets people possess.
Individuals around the world deserve the chance at a winning ticket. With innovative technology, farmers in America and around the world will produce food to feed the 9 billion people that will inhabit the earth by 2050. It is the responsibility of each producer to be as efficient as possible to ensure food availability. Although it may not always feel like it, farmers in America have the winning ticket; we can and will continue to impact people throughout America and around the globe. Keep using your winning ticket to benefit your family, community and even our world.