Friday, June 22, 2012

Changes in "family farming"

 While visiting the international headquarters for Land O' Lakes yesterday our class on the business of food heard a presentation on "A future of growth... in a world of opportunity" by Karen Grabow.  She spoke of the power of cooperatives, which allow participants to have ownership and grassroots governance. Working collectively as a cooperative allows farmers to enhance their financial returns.  Ms. Grabow noted that working directly with farmers keeps Land O' Lakes committed to long-term and sustainable farming methods.

She noted how dramatically farming has changed sine 1930.  For example back in 1930 one farmer fed his family and 9 others.  Today that farmer feeds 155 others.  In 1930 22 percent of the US population was involved with agriculture.  Today fewer than 1.5 percent of the population is involved with farming.

Karen Grabow speaks with participants
at Land O' Lakes presentation
Looking forward it was noted that with the growing world population, compounded by the increased consumption of meat and dairy products in 2030 the demand for water will be outstripped by its supply by a staggering 40%.  This confirms what you may have already heard, the demand for water will be like that of petroleum.

Land O' Lakes Corporate Headquarters

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