موين, IA — A Warra, Queensland farmer from Australia is the 2008 recipient of the Dean Kleckner Trade & جائزة النهوض بالتكنولوجيا. The award was made to Jeff Bidstrup in Des Moines, IA on Oct. 15 during the Global Farmer to Farmer Roundtable. The Roundtable is held in conjunction with the World Food Prize.
Bidstrup lives up to every word in that description.
TATT board member and Jamestown, ND farmer Terry Wanzek, met Bidstrup three years ago at the first Farmer to Farmer Roundtable. “When I first met Jeff, I was impressed in his energy, enthusiasm, and passion. He lives a world away, but I share his frustrations with bans based on political science, not real science.”
وانزيك, a wheat farmer, has dealt with trade bans on GM (الكائنات المعدلة وراثيا) القمح; for Bidstrup, the challenge was political obstruction for many Australian farmers who wanted to plant GM cotton, canola and other grains.
"لقد كان لدينا القطن في مجال التكنولوجيا الحيوية لأكثر من عقد من الزمان,” says Bidstrup, الذين تنمو الحبوب والقطن حول 12,000 acres in Queensland, a state in northeast Australia. “I immediately saw the difference it made and understood that this was a wonderful technology for farmers.”
GM cotton helped farmers overcome pest problems. Bidstrup began to imagine how additional GM research in Australia could help farmers with salinity and drought, as well as reduce chemical usage.
But then the anti-GM activists struck his country.
“One of Australia’s states (there are six of them) banned GM food crops, ثم كل منهم ولكن كوينزلاند مرت بهم الوقف في غضون أسابيع,” says Bidstrup. "كان هناك تقريبا أي مناقشة. لقد كان على حين غرة, completely flat-footed.”
لفترة من الوقت, لا أحد الكثير من أي شيء. “We all thought someone else would take care of the problem.”
As professional activists began getting more media attention, Bidstrup thought about the future of his family in agriculture. "لدى اثنين من أبنائه الذين يريدون أن يكونوا المزارعين. لقد بدأت في القلق بشأن مستقبلهم في هذه الأعمال. I realized that they aren’t going to have one unless somebody does something about all of this anti-biotech nonsense.”
لذا تأسست بيدستروب "المنتدى المنتجين", a coalition of livestock and grain farmers who work to educate Australians about the benefits of biotechnology and to repeal moratoriums based on ignorance. وفي وقت سابق من هذا العام, أنها نجحت في إقناع الحكومات في نيو ساوث ويلز وفيكتوريا برفع الحظر المفروض على واقتربت من إقناع جنوب أستراليا تفعل الشيء نفسه.
"لقد حققنا كثير من التقدم,” says Bidstrup. "نحن ذاهبون لجعل أكثر في 2009 and beyond.”
Bidstrup’s efforts against moratoriums have not been limited to Australia. He’s also offered support to efforts by farmers in other countries, another example of “farmer network leadership and action in its purest form” the TATT board noted.
When Bidstrup learned that he had been named the recipient of the Kleckner Trade & جائزة النهوض بالتكنولوجيا, he noted his honor and delight, but he said it was a journey not traveled alone.
“The load has been shared by many, and those people I believe share this award with me. They are the McKays, Kellys, Baldocks, Snookes, Staleys, Fitzgeralds, Crabtrees, Roushs, Prestons, Tribes, and many others of the world who have given their all to see good prevail.”
الجائزة ستعطى سنوياً بالتزامن مع "جائزة الغذاء العالمي". The first recipient in 2007 was Rosalie Ellasus of the Philippines.