Global food insecurity has been on the rise. A changing climate and more frequent environmental disasters, coupled with economic disruptions, are exposing deficiencies and vulnerabilities in an unsustainable global food system. At FP’s third annual Food+ Summit leading government officials, industry experts and stakeholders spotlight innovative agricultural practices, technological advances and partnerships to feed the world while conserving and restoring the earth’s ecosystems.

Mark Heckman, a GFN farmer from the United States and Maria ‘Pilu’ Giraudo, a GFN farmer from Argentina, were both speakers during the Foreign Policy Food+ Virtual Summit. Mark is a farmer from Iowa and a member of the GFN board of directors. Pilu was the recipient of the 2016 GFN Kleckner Award and serves on the board’s advisory council.

Mark spoke during the conference’s opening session titled Plowing Ahead: Policy, Practice, and Productivity. One of Mark’s comments was featured in an event recap email from Foreign Policy: “Every step that we take has to be focused on efficiency, and it has to be focused on long-term success. And those long-term successes are taking care of the assets. It’s washing the car. It’s nourishing the soil and making it so that the practice that we complete every step of the way from tillage, if there’s tillage, all the way through to harvest, and then after harvest, taking care of the livestock, etc., all of that has to be focused on long-term sustainability.”

Pilu spoke in the next session titled Farming Forward: Climate-Resilience and the Future of Agriculture  She was on a panel with Dr. Hoesung Lee, Chair for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Liam Condon, President of Bayer CropScience and Jim Barnhart, Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security at USAID. The focus was to highlight innovations, programs, and new technologies that allow farmers to ‘grow more with less’ and adapt to changing weather patterns as well as create efficiencies along the agricultural value chain.


Nominations are being accepted for candidates to the 2022 Global Farmer Network Roundtable and Leadership Training Course. Tentatively scheduled to be held during summer 2022, the next Roundtable will include a virtual component prior to meeting in person. The face-to-face event date is dependent on when travel is allowed and people feel safe. Learn more about the event here.