It’s hard to believe that 2016 marks the eleventh year of the Global Farmer Roundtable and the tenth presentation of the Kleckner Award.  Time surely does fly.  What started as a discussion about why there weren’t any farmers at the World Food Prize Symposium turned into action resulting in something special.

Back in 2006 Truth About Trade & Technology, now the Global Farmer Network, decided it would invite some farmers from around the world to come to Des Moines, Iowa in October during the week of the World Food Prize Symposium for a roundtable discussion, and then to take part in the great activities the Symposium has to offer.  The first year went very well, so it was organized the next year, and the following, and so on… the feedback from participants was fantastic, and it has proven to be a tremendous success.

This year, another incredibly impressive group of international farmers is gathered in Des Moines for the week or Oct 10-14 – the best way to keep up with what’s going is on social media – @GlobalFarmerNet and #GlobalFarmer, and Global Farmer Network on Facebook.

Here’s a brief overview of who is here this year.

2016 Global Farmer Roundtable Participants

Argentina – Ms. Maria Beatriz “Pilu” Giraudo – Fifth generation family farmer, agronomy engineer, no till grain production and livestock. Grows soy, wheat, barley, corn and sorghum. Outspoken advocate for no-till farming.

Brazil – Mr. Lúucio Alamy – After earning an MBA and working in agribusiness, returned to the family business as a swine, beef and coffee producer. Has launched a branded pork product. Is a co-founder of FarmPage.

Canada – Mr. Joas VanOord – Dairy farmer from New Brunswick, past president of the NB Young Farmers Forum, a true ag ambassador. Took over the 60 cow dairy from his father, installed robotic milkers. The farm hosts many visitors including school groups.

India – Mr. PavitarPal Singh Pangli – grows 100 acres of wheat, rice, basmati, fodder crops, onions, garlic and vegetables. Very involved in advancing technologies to help small and marginal farmers through a number of organizations.

Indonesia – Ms. Arie Sulistyani – Founded a women’s farming group in her village in order to transfer her knowledge of modern farming techniques to others. On her farm, she grows corn, vegetables, chili and horticultural plants.

Mexico – Ms. Georgina Gutierrez – Fifth generation dairy farmer, 420 cows, follow the pro-cross breeding system (Holstein-Montbeliarde-Swedish Red) since 2003 with production of 35.5 liters/cow/day. Advocates for the dairy industry using Facebook.

Nepal – Mr. Bishnu Hari Poudyal – Commercial dairy producer – milks Nepali breeds, Holsteins, Jerseys and mixed breeds, pioneer in the region in following routine AI and vaccination protocols. Grows paddy, maize, wheat and cereals.

New Zealand – Ms. Jane Smith – Breeding operation in the sheep and beef industries – export genetics to Australia and Bangladesh. Raise forage crops. Board member of the Veterinary Council of New Zealand and of The Red Meat Partnership.

Rwanda – Mr. Pierre Kamere Munyura – Coffee grower and processor – 25 acres of coffee – Former president of coffee exporters and processors association representing 200+ growers

Spain – Mr. Francisco Manuel Fernandez Camas – Farmer who manages 3 farms, including his family farm. Produces corn, cotton, tomatoes, potatoes, sugar beet, sunflower, wheat and chickpeas. The three farms total almost 2,000 acres and use innovative irrigation technology.

United Kingdom – Mr. Jake Freestone – Farm manager at Overbury Farms – 1560 hectares of wheat, barley, oilseed rape, peas, and runs 1,000 breeding ewes. Has converted 90% of the land to zero tillage. LEAF demonstration farmer.

United States – Mr. Richard Fordyce – Fourth generation farmer who raises corn, soybeans and beef cattle. Director of Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Zimbabwe – Ms. Ruramiso Mashumba – Inherited Chomwedzi Farm – grows peas for export and has a plantation of 117 hectares of gumtree, 10 hectares of maize, whole brown rice, sorghum and millet. She also breeds cattle. Recognized for leading African women toward mechanized farming.