AGCO announced their sponsorship of the 23rd annual International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) World Forum and Symposium. The conference takes place in Atlanta, GA June 18-20 with a mission to develop and sustain talent across the diverse value chain of global food production – from smallholder farmers in emerging regions of the world to the sophisticated commercial agricultural practices in mature economies. “It is a natural fit for AGCO to sponsor this organization and we are very happy to support young people who have chosen to pursue a career in agriculture,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO. “Education is key to the advancement of the agricultural industry and key to the advancement of global economies.”
The Earth’s population is set to reach 9 billion by the year 2050. However, the number of young adults going into the agriculture industry is quickly declining. Global farm productivity has to change in order to keep up with growing needs for food, fuel and fiber and the industry needs the best and brightest minds in order to keep up with demand.
Eric Raby, Vice President, Global Marketing & Commercial Development will be a guest speaker at the event on June 20. In his speech, he will outline how Africa can play a decisive role in transforming global agriculture as well as what AGCO is learning from working in emerging markets. “AGCO knows the importance of attracting high quality talent to the ag industry because they will set the stage to feed, clothe and fuel the world for generations to come,” said Raby. “Even with today’s economy, people have not and will not stop eating; therefore, agriculture leads the way in career opportunities for the graduates of today and tomorrow.”
The International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) is a nonprofit organization that unites industry, students, academics, government leaders and other key stakeholders across the value chain of food production and consumption – to improve the global food and agribusiness system in response to the changing needs of the world. Founded in 1990 IFAMA fosters information sharing, knowledge advancement, discussion, debate, networking and career development through members across more than 50 countries. The annual IFAMA World Forum and Symposium is the organization’s cornerstone event, where leading experts address the most current and pressing issues in food and agriculture. Visit www.ifama.org to learn more.
The phrase “world hunger” is widely recognized throughout the United States. Yet, what does the phrase really imply? More importantly, what can we, as members of a developed, net food exporting nation do to help? Monday, May 21, 2013 marked the second annual World Affairs Council of Atlanta’s Global Health & Hunger Summit. The summit focused on issues related to world hunger by presenting the thoughts and opinions of some of the best and brightest individuals in the realm of public health, public policy, and industry leaders whose line of work revolves around providing food to our planet.
United States, Georgia state Senator Johnny Isakson, led the opening discussion. Mr. Isakson explained that providing food to developing countries is much more than demonstrating The United States’ generosity and dedication towards helping people in need. Providing food security is not only an act of aid, but a matter of national security. Senator Isakson highlighted that terrorist organizations target the, “Hungry, Ignorant, and Thirsty” to strengthen their forces. Thus, providing food serves not only to make a healthier world, but also a safer one. That’s a fact that is often forgotten when world hunger is discussed; however, intuitively, it makes a great deal of sense.
The Atlanta Summit on Global Health & Hunger also emphasized the importance of child nutrition. The speakers endorsed the introduction of micro-nutrients into children’s diets to prevent stunting, the implementation of plans and educational tools for pregnant women in developing nations, and using cash and vouchers to feed hungry families across the world. This differs from the previously used method of shipping supplies directly to the people in need. Possible solutions were offered that might help to reduce the problem of child malnutrition: investing in female education, providing supplements to children in developing nations, and most importantly engaging the national government of the country in need.
As a member of the audience, it became clear that something was missing. Certainly, research facilities, non-profit organizations, and publicly funded medical institutes are absolutely crucial in assuaging world hunger; yet, part of the entire picture remained unpainted. A developing nation needs economic catalysts to foster sustainable food security systems within their own communities as well as for the global economy. This can be to provide them with the equipment, means of communication, income, and infrastructure necessary for growth to occur. There was only one actor in my mind that is capable of conducting this feat: corporations. The Collaborations Across Sectors- Successes and Challenges panel discussed the connections between corporations, research foundations, public agencies, and non-profit organizations to the overall picture of solving world hunger.
Corporations such as AGCO, UPS, and the Coca-Cola Company invest in emerging markets to support, and often times facilitate the country’s growth. Eric Raby, AGCO’s VP of Global Marketing and Commercial Development shared the panel with the Coca-Cola Company’s Denise McKnight (Global Sustainable Agriculture Director), Eduardo Martinez (President, UPS Foundation), and Jeff Johnson ( President, Birdsong Peanuts Company) to discuss the successes and challenges associated with collaborating efforts across sectors in developing nations. Conducting operations in foreign lands—especially in developing nations—is never an easy task. One of the issues revolves around coordinating efforts with the local population. For an operation to work, every affected party needs to be involved. It is for this reason that AGCO purchased a farm in Lusaka, Zambia. The farm will serve as one of AGCO’s Global Learning Centers and Future Farms. It will educate, acclimate, and spread best-practice knowledge to the members of the local community. Mr. Raby concluded with, “Success will be longer when you involve the people already inhabiting a place.”
World Hunger is a serious issue. Almost a billion children and adults in the world are victims of hunger and malnutrition. The Atlanta Summit on Global Health & Hunger highlighted that it will take coordinating the efforts of everyone—the non-profit groups, members of academia, public policy legislators, members of local communities, and corporations—to truly make a difference. AGCO has demonstrated its commitment to helping ease the problem of world hunger, and plans to continue in the future.
In 1978, Hesston Corporation introduced the Model 4800, the industry’s first large square baler, revolutionizing hay production and feeding practices at a time when labor availability and fuel prices were driving a need for innovations on the farm. Big square balers have come a long way since then, and on May 16, 2013, a large crowd gathered at AGCO’s Hesston Operations to celebrate the 25,000th large square baler built in Hesston, Kan.
Credit for the big baler idea is generally given to Allen White, who spent more than 25 years as a company engineer. White started his research by building a giant bale chamber in the engineering lab and manually packing it with hay. When the 4-foot-by-4-foot bale did not get hot or spoil, engineers went on to build the first prototype baler. They quickly realized that the side-feed approach currently being used would not work, and in 1975, the first prototype that fed hay into the bottom of the bale chamber was built.
After extensive field-testing, the Model 4800 was perfected and released in 1978. Field testing and working with farmers to meet their needs have always been a hallmark of equipment development at Hesston. These productive balers proved to be a more labor-efficient and economical way to harvest, store and feed forages.
Today, balers built in Hesston are sold in as many as 39 countries and used to bale everything from alfalfa and grass hay to wheat straw, miscanthus for biofuel production, and even recyclables such as newspaper and aluminum cans.
“It is amazing to look back at all that has gone into today’s big baler models,” says Dean Morrell, product marketing manager, Hay and Forage. “Building the 25,000th baler is an invigorating milestone and a great tribute to everyone who has been involved in its development. I know there will be even more innovations in the future large square balers built in Hesston.”
Tomorrow, May 16, the 25,000th large square baler will roll off the assembly line at the AGCO facility in Hesston, Kansas USA and be presented to its new owner. Here are a few fun facts about the large square baler to help kick off this historic event
• The first large square baler — the Hesston model 4800, produced at the AGCO facility in Hesston, Kan. — was introduced in 1978.
• Nearly 50 individual patents were awarded to the original baler.
• There are at AGCO 15 employees who were involved with developing and building the first large square balers and are still working at the Hesston facility today.
• Together, they have 610 years of experience working at the Hesston facility, with tenures ranging from 36 to 49 years.
• Large square balers built in Hesston have been sold under the following brand names: Hesston, New Idea, Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Challenger, Case IH, New Holland and AGCO.
• They have been used to bale everything from alfalfa and grass hay to wheat straw, miscanthus for biofuel production and even recyclables such as newspaper and aluminum cans.
• Large square balers manufactured in Hesston have proudly been sold and delivered to customers in as many as 39 countries all over the world.
• Hesston by Massey Ferguson Models 2170XD and 2190 create bales that are 4-feet x 3-feet or 4-feet x 4-feet, respectively, and can weigh up to a ton.
AGCO will host the 2nd annual Africa Summit on January 21, 2013 in Berlin, Germany.
Food security has never been so profoundly challenged. In 2050, it is projected that the global population will rise to more than 9 billion people. The challenge is to produce more food to meet this ever-increasing demand; with less resources and at a higher cost than ever before.
In addition to the world’s exploding population, diet patterns are changing: as developing nations gain affluence eating habits shift from staple crops towards more consumption of dairy and meat products. Annual meat production alone will need to increase 75% by 2050 to keep up with demand. This puts further pressure on already-dwindling reserves, and means society will have to make a trade-off between growing crops to feed the local community, and delivering marketable goods to meet demand elsewhere. Innovation and investment has driven agricultural productivity to new highs in developed countries, and should now be redirected towards a continent that has the resources and potential to feed the world.
Africa provides the answer. Nowhere in the world is there such an abundance of untapped resources. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 15% of the world’s arable land lies in Africa, of which 86% remains uncultivated. Pre-1960 – Africa provided 10% of the world’s food – that figure is less than 1% today.
Africa lies at the heart of what promises to be a new Agricultural Revolution.
The solution is to develop a systematic approach that enables a strategic partnership to deliver crops that feed increasing populations in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible way. While the challenge is enormous, the opportunities are both substantial and achievable. Farmers are among the main beneficiaries of agricultural development and are at the very core of the solution. But there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. A lack of infrastructure, mechanization and technology across the continent calls for market-based cooperation between farmers, private industry, government and society to establish a new blueprint.
Africa holds the key to ensuring a sustainable food supply, but only if a new road map for progress is developed, harnessing both the expertise of the private industry sector and the knowledge of local communities.