2014 Global Farmer Roundtable


The ninth annual Global Farmer Roundtable hosted by the Truth About Trade & Technology Foundation held October 14-15 proved to be another fantastic event. There was engaging dialogue and experiences shared by the 16 participants from around the world who traveled to Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, the MSMC Endowed Professor of Agribusiness Strategy and the Director of the Economics and Management of Agrobiotechnology Center (EMAC) at the University of Missouri, moderated this year.

The 2014 Global Farmer Roundtable participants and new members of the Global Farmer Network:

  • Argentina – Mr. Martin Pasman
  • Australia – Ms. Kelly Pearce
  • Brazil – Mr. Luiz Roberto Saldanha Rodrigues
  • Canada – Mr. Steven Larocque
  • China – Mr. Zhenghong Li
  • France – Ms. Sarah Singla
  • Ghana – Mr. Adotei Brown
  • India – Mr. Jayapal Reddy Solleti
  • India – Mr. Gurjeet Singh Mann
  • Indonesia – Mr. William El Bulo
  • New Zealand – Mr. Craige Mackenzie
  • United Kingdom – Mr. Ian Pigott
  • United Kingdom – Mr. Paul Temple
  • United States, New Mexico – Mr. Tsosie Lewis
  • Vietnam – Mr. Liem Quoc Pham
  • Zimbabwe – Ms. Nyasha Mudukuti

It was a busy week full of activity again this year.  It included visits to Kemin in Des Moines, the Couser Cattle Company near Nevada, and 2013 World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Robb Fraley dropped by and did some Q&A with the group during the Roundtable itself.

 The Global Farmer Roundtable was held again during the week of The World Food Prize Symposium and that allowed those attending to also take part in the Borlaug Dialogue, Laureate Award Ceremony, and other side events held during the week.  Gurjeet Singh Mann from India and Nyasha Mudukuti from Zimbabwe, were also invited to participated as panelists in a side event during the week, “Drought and Disease Tolerance for Food Security”.
A highlight of the week was the presentation of the 2014 Kleckner Award to Ian Pigott from the United Kingdom during a reception that was co-hosted with CropLife International on October 14.  A fourth generation farmer, Pigott farms only about 20 miles from the highly-populated center of London.  In 2006 founded Open Farm Sunday, a day when more that 400 farmers open their operations up to visitors across the country helping them to see, learn and better understand agriculture.
A new effort undertaken after this year’s event on Twitter is Farmers No Borders @World_Farmers where a different member of the Global Farmer Network will host for a few weeks at a time, passing the handle around the world sharing their stories and giving different perspectives.  Be sure to follow!

Read commentaries written by members of the Global Farmer Network  in the Guest Commentary section of the website.  If you need a speaker for a panel or event, check out the Speakers Bureau webpage. 

Mary Boote

Mary Boote

Mary Boote serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Farmer Network. Raised on a Northwest Iowa dairy, pork, corn, and soybean family farm, she had the privilege of serving as agriculture adviser to Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad from 1997-1999.

Through the Global Farmer Network, Mary works with farmers around the world to develop and deliver communication platforms that engage the farmers' perspective and voice as an integral part of the dialogue regarding the global agri-food system. The mission: To amplify the farmers' voice in promoting trade, technology, sustainable farming, economic growth, and food security.

Named as one of the Worldview 100: Global Industry's top 100 Visionaries and Leaders in Biotechnology by Scientific American Worldview in 2015, Mary has had the opportunity to travel internationally, serving on agriculture leadership missions that focused on issues as varied as instruction on strategic planning and personal representation for privatized agriculturalists in newly independent countries to learning more about smallholder maize projects to observing the trade negotiation process at the World Trade Organization.

Mary attended Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa and was privileged to participate in the 2009 Harvard AgriBusiness Seminar.

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