WV Farm Bureau Magazine May 2012 - Page 16

Stallman, continued is shared by farmers and ranchers across the country, regardless of the methods of food and fiber production they use – organic, conventional or biotechnology. They all need science. Full Speed Ahead The importance of science and innovation – biotechnology in particular – to agriculture will be significant as we face several challenges in the years ahead. The world’s population just passed the 7 billion mark. According to the World Food Program, the best estimate is that 1 billion people (one in seven) are hungry and food insecure. By 2050 the world’s population will rise to 9 billion people. This means we must double world food production by 2050 in order to meet this challenge. Further, we must accomplish this hefty goal while realizing that our Earth is fragile. To take care of our environment, we must embrace agriculture research, science, innovation and biotechnology. When it comes to medical care, communication and transportation we accept the importance of innovation. We need to do the same when it comes to the production of food. Earlier this year, the United Nations issued a special report recognizing that “new ‘green’ biotechnologies can….improve resistance to pests, restore soil fertility and contribute to the diversification of the rural economy.” Sound familiar? Seems a lot like what Lincoln described as a goal 150 years ago. Scientists have developed new seeds that can improve yields while resisting disease and requiring less water. That is critical as 70 percent of all fresh water is used by agriculture. American consumers and consumers all over the world can feel safe with this technology and confident it will improve our environment. While meeting these quantitative challenges and meeting our environmental goals, we will strive to focus even greater attention on the qualitative side, to also meet the needs of consumers who express a preference for foods grown “their way.” Science is the answer for all these missions, and today’s USDA is helping to blaze that trail. So, Happy Birthday USDA and best wishes as we continue down the road for another 150 years. America’s farmers, ranchers and research scientists can lead the way to a new 21st century Green Revolution if we follow the vision of Abraham Lincoln. As Honest Abe said, “Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” Solar Makes Sense In WV Incentives Have Never Been Better Mountain View Solar 257 JR Hawvermale Way Berkeley Springs WV 25411 304-258-4733 www.mtvSolar.com WV Owned Proudly Installing American Made Products 16 West Virginia Farm Bureau News