For the ninth year in a row, the winner of the Borlaug CAST Communication Award was honored at a World Food Prize side event, and this year's recipient—Marty Matlock—gave an insightful keynote address about The Promise of Prosperity from the Land in the 21st Century.
Matlock began by explaining how he was inspired by Dr. Norman Borlaug, and he paid tribute to his legacy by emphasizing the need for interdisciplinary efforts as we work to feed the world. Matlock explained that "prosperity is well-being; social connections are the key."
Following his presentation, Matlock joined a panel of experts to discuss sustainability, land stewardship, and consumer communication. The gathering ended with a Q & A session, giving each speaker an opportunity to provide specifics about what works best for a vibrant and sustainable food system. Dr. Matlock summed it up well by saying, "It's urgent that all sectors need to work together--we need to build trust."
The CAST morning event during World Food Prize week was a lively mix of food, friendship, and the sharing of ideas. CAST's Executive Vice President Kent Schescke was the person coordinating it all as he welcomed farmers, journalists, scientists, and various special guests to the October 17 Borlaug CAST Communication Award ceremony. He invited Mark Cochran of the University of Arkansas to introduce Marty Matlock, and Schescke then presented him with the bronze award. During a 30-minute slide presentation (video here), Dr. Matlock demonstrated why he won the 2018 BCCA by showing his ability to synthesize interconnected topics and present them to a diverse audience.
Also during the morning event, Schescke thanked attendees and sponsors, and he introduced Jay Vroom--representing the CropLife Foundation--who stressed the importance of communication. As Vroom said, "Tell it to the public."
Julie Borlaug Larson (INARI Agriculture) added to that by saying, "CAST has stayed true to my grandfather's vision. We can't leave communication out of agriculture." She gave a special shout out to farmers, including those attending from the Global Farmer Roundtable. "They are the reason we are all here."
Following Matlock's speech, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and American Society of Agronomy (ASA) organized a presentation and panel discussion--Global Sustainability for a Vibrant Earth.
Chris Novack (President and CEO of CropLife America) moderated the program. Panelists included Erin Fitzgerald (U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance), Jan-Hendrick Mohr (CLAAS Group), Jason Weller (Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN), and Marty Matlock. They focused on topics about sustainability, land stewardship, and consumer communication. The gathering ended with a Q & A session, giving each speaker an opportunity to provide specifics about what works best for a vibrant and sustainable food system. Dr. Matlock summed it up well by saying, "It's urgent that all sectors work together--we need to build trust."
The Special Nature of World Food Prize Week--and CAST's Connections
As CAST President Nancy Reichert said, "Member organizations and universities from CAST were well represented at the World Food Prize, and Ambassador Kenneth Quinn stated that the BCCA event will continue to have a strong presence there." Reichert and CAST's President-Elect, Gabe Middleton, also praised the Global Farmer Roundtable and its participants from 11 countries, ranging from Argentina to Zimbabwe. Middleton was impressed with the respect the farmers showed for one another and the common goals they have--including a desire to look for new production methods and technologies.
Many CAST members, organizations, and education groups were involved with the week's activities. As Dirk Drost of Syngenta pointed out, "The opportunity to network, listen, learn, and share the mission of CAST with many different people from across the food system was invaluable." He specifically mentioned attending receptions by Corteva, CRISPERcon, CropLife, the Governor, and Purdue University.
World Food Prize events included the honoring of the laureates, David Nabarro and Lawrence Haddad; the Borlaug Dialogue, Rise to the Challenge; and the World Food Prize State Youth Institutes.
by dan gogerty (photos by Dwight Tomes, Nancy Reichert, and Dan Gogerty)