Well, if this isn't a mish-mash of topics, I'm not sure what is. We've got everything from an agricultural editor report straight from Ukraine to the results of a historically-anti-biotech magazine sending a writer to research GMOs. And it's mostly good news, at least on the biotech item. Plus a couple more items that you'll want to take a look at, too. Regardless, here are five links that are worth the read on your Friday.
War is Just a Shot Away: This piece was written by Ukrainian ag journalist, Iurii Mykhailov, and gives a ground-floor account of two possible scenarios in Ukraine, and their impact on Ukrainian agriculture and world grain markets. Ukraine, incidentally, is located in one of the three major breadbaskets of the world, in addition to the Midwest and South America. Iurii is editor of Agribusiness-Ukraine, and is president of the Union of Agricultural Journalists of Ukraine.
Farm Dogs Entries Due March 15: It's not too late to enter Prairie Farmer's Favorite Farm Dogs contest! But it's almost too late – they're due tomorrow! Long story short: if you have a fabulous farm dog, write him/her up, grab a photo and send it in. We love our farm dogs and we want to hear about yours!
GMOs: "What's the Big Deal?" Grist magazine sent one of its writers to research GMOs. Six months later, Nathanael Johnson, who was raised in a California household that valued local, organic and natural food and had long opposed biotechnology because it was "part of an industrial complex that we dislike," came away with his hands in the air and asking what the big deal is. If you've ever wondered what the people who oppose GMOs think, this is valuable insight.
Panic-Free GMOs: And if you thought the previous link was interesting, you'll like these. This takes you to Nathanael Johnson's entire series on GMOs. I love that he started it in July and thought it would take a few weeks to get through it all; he laughed at himself, six months later, when he was still writing. We all take for granted how big this issue really is. Or if you're in a hurry, here's a quick shot at 20 GMO Questions: Animal, Vegetable, Controversy?; or here is his summary post, What I Learned from Six Months of GMO Research: None of it Matters. Agree with him or not, it's good to zoom out from our farm-centric perspective and see the world from someone else's perspective.
Walter George Bruhl Jr., DuPont Co. retiree: Yes, this is an obituary. No, it has nothing to do with agriculture. But yes, it could make your day.
And a bonus link: I'm biased, but this is one of my favorite stories of the year: Four Respected Producers Named Master Farmers.