Rome trip brings ag leaders together
North Dakota Farmers Union president Elwood “Woody” Barth and World Farmers Organization (WFO) president Robert Carlson traveled to Rome last month to participate in the second annual WFO general assembly.
According to Barth, the assembly was an excellent opportunity to talk with others about world-wide agricultural issues. “We need to be at the table to discuss the challenges of feeding the world population. It’s important to our membership that we address issues like food security and climate change.”
Carlson agreed and said, “Feeding a growing world population is the mission of farmers, of course, but it is both a magnificent opportunity and a major challenge. We are going to need technology and information to use our resources more efficiently in order to feed a growing world with fewer and more expensive farm inputs.”
The assembly featured numerous guest speakers and attracted representatives from over 50 organizations from 40 countries. There were over 250 people who participated.
The conference theme was “Raising Our Voices for Agriculture” and focused on three main discussion topics including food and nutrition security; climate change and the impact on agricultural production; and access to credit for world-wide production. A tour of a local Italian farm was also arranged for participants.
The WFO was formed to help find solutions to these kinds of problems and to bring ag leaders together to share information. The mission of this farm organization is to raise awareness of issues and to engage in advocacy for the creation of policies in favor of improving the economic and social conditions in which farmers and rural populations live.
WFO has worked with many global organizations including the World Economic Forum, the World Trade Organization, the World Food Program, in addition to many United Nations organizations. The
Other NFU participants included NFU General Counsel Dave Velde, South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke, Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson, Montana Farmers Union President Alan Merrill, and NFU Vice President of International Relations Robert Carlson who also serves as president of WFO.