2018 Global Farmer Roundtable


The 13th annual Global Farmer Roundtable (GFR) held Oct 15-17 once again coincided with the week of the World Food Prize Symposium and Borlaug Dialogues in Des Moines, Iowa.  Holding the GFR as a side event to the symposium gives the participants the opportunity to interact, network, and share their perspective as farmers with others attending from dozens of nations from around the world.

Alan Bjerga moderated the 2018 GFR.

This year’s edition included the first participant from Japan, three alumni participants, and the Global Farmer Network now has over 180 members that hail from over 50 nations.

The GFN was thrilled to have well-respected journalist Alan Bjerga as roundtable moderator for the discussion between he and the farmers.  The five women and seven men encompassed a wide range of farm and production experiences ranging from no-till experts to cultivating green tea… but, as their predecessors before them, they discovered they share quite a bit more in common than they realized beforehand (see links to media stories below).


2018 Global Farmer Roundtable participants & new members of the Global Farmer Network:

  • Argentina – Mr. Edgard Ramirez  
  • Australia – Mr. Bill Crabtree
  • India – Mr. Malwinder Singh Malhi
  • Ireland – Ms. Cheryl Hazenberg
  • Japan – Ms. Atsumi Goto
  • Kenya – Mr. Rodney Kili
  • Mexico – Ms. Gina Gutierrez
  • Nigeria – Ms. Onyaole Patience Koku
  • Nigeria – Mr. Chibuike Emmanuel
  • Philippines – Mr. A.D. Alvarez
  • United States, Iowa – Mr. Larry Sailer
  • Zimbabwe – Ms. Nyasha Mudukuti


2018 Kleckner Award

Gina Gutierrez, a 5th generation Mexican dairy farmer was honored Oct 16 as the 12th honoree of the award.

Gina was presented the Kleckner Award by Mary Boote and GFN Chairman Reg Clause.

Gutierrez started finding her voice in May of 2015. That’s when she decided that as a dairy farmer, she needed to talk to people about the importance of dairy in the diet, and share information to offset those who have an agenda to eliminate the dairy industry.

Gina has a strong understanding of the big picture, the impact of trade barriers and how the business can be hurt when misinformation is circulated.

In order to better talk to consumers and share her story, Gina created the Facebook page La Vida Láctea with about 30,000 followers and has started writing columns for two different dairy publications in her home country.


Media coverage from the week’s activity at the Global Farmer Roundtable:

Des Moines Register – “Let’s put an end to the false tale about how the dairy industry treats animals” by Gina Gutierrez (2018 Kleckner Award, Mexico) Oct 3. 

Ag News Daily – Mary Boote interviewed about the Global Farmer Roundtable and how it came to be Oct 10.

Brownfield Ag News – alert on Brownfield Anchor/Reporter Tom Steever to be at Global Farmer Roundtable/WFP on Oct 10.

Hampton Chronicle (Iowa) – “Franklin Co. farmer tabbed as global roundtable U.S. rep” on Larry Sailer Oct 10.

Cornell Alliance for Science – videos of Gina Gutierrez (2018 Kleckner Award, Mexico), AD Alvarez (GFN, Philippines) and Patience Koku (GFN, Nigeria) included with “Farmers from around the world share ideas on World Food Day” Oct 16.

Rural Radio Network – Patience Koku interviewed on the network’s noon show Oct 16.

WHO Radio, The Big Show – Gina Gutierrez (2018 Kleckner Award, Mexico) and Edgard Ramirez (GFN, Argentina) appeared Oct 17, the Big Show is one of the leading farm radio shows and airs weekdays from 11am to 1 pm on WHO and WMT Radio out of Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Future of Farming: Access to Innovation to Achieve Food Security – CropLife International and Devex hosted Oct 17 panel discussion event during World Food that included Nyasha Mudukuti (GFN, Zimbabwe) and Patience Koku (GFN, Nigeria).

AgriMarketing – “Mexican Dairy Farmer Named 2018 Kleckner Award Honoree” on Gina Gutierrez Oct 17.

Farm Journal publications – “4 Observations from the Global Farmer Network Roundtable” Oct 17.

Brownfield Ag News – “International Farmers Discuss Shared Challenges” Oct 17.

Ag News Daily – “A Look at a Mexican Dairy” on Gina Gutierrez (2018 Kleckner Award) Oct 18.

Brownfield Ag News – “After years of observing, Iowa farmer participates in Global Farmer Roundtable” on Larry Sailer Oct 18.

KGLO News – “Farmers from around the world talk about the industry at World Food Prize event” Oct 18.

Radio Iowa – “Farmers from around the world talk about the industry at World Food Prize event” Oct 18.

Ag News Daily – “Argentine Farmer Edgard Ramirez – Ramirez Farms in Argentina and Works With Growers in Africa ” Oct 19.

Brownfield Ag News – “Kleckner Award Winner’s Farm Blogging Began With Leg Injury” on Gina Gutierrez Oct 19.

Brownfield Ag News – “Australian Farmer Stays Ahead of Herbicide Resistance” on Bill Crabtree Oct 19.

CropLife International – “Our Discussion on the Future of Farming” includes Nyasha Mudukuti and Patience Koku Oct 28.

KCRG TV (Cedar Rapids) – “Farmer from Kenya works to make agriculture profitable” on Rodney Kili (GFN, Kenya) Oct 30.

WHO TV (Des Moines) – “Farmer from Kenya works to make agriculture profitable” on Rodney Kili (GFN, Kenya) Oct 30.

KCRG TV (Cedar Rapids) – “Farmer from Mexico speaks on ag challenges” on Gina Gutierrez (2018 Kleckner Award) Oct 23.

Ag News Daily – “Growing Corn in Nigeria” interview with Patience Koku (GFN, Nigeria) Oct 24.

GFN News Conference Video at WFP posted Oct 24

CIMMYT – Patience Koku quoted in “To feed the world, take the science to the farmer” Oct 25.

Farm Weekly (Australia) – “Safe farming tools are needed” by Bill Crabtree (GFN, Australia) Nov 6.

Looking for a speaker to be on a panel or to talk at your event?  Check out the Farmers webpage.  You can follow Global Farmer Network on Twitter @World_Farmers where members regularly rotate posts from their farms around the world.

Peter Haas, U.S. State Department Deputy Asst. Sec. for Trade Policy and Negotiations in the Bureau of Economic Affairs (third from left in back row) joined the farmers at the end of the week.

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