World Food Prize

Last Friday we had the opportunity to host a group of teachers/parents that were in Des Moines for the World Food Prize events. Thanks to the Iowa Soybean Association for providing  afternoon soybean snacks in the field.  Here are some thoughts from the afternoon.

Dear Global Institute Teachers and Parents,

I want to thank you for taking the time to visit us in the field on Friday!  Thank you for your interest in experiencing modern agriculture up close.  We  enjoyed visiting with you and sharing the story of our family farm.  It was interesting to hear where you were from  and what subject areas you taught.  Following are a  few things we had conversations about and some things that we did not have time to talk about! Thank you for all you do to educate future consumers!


The planter boxes filled with seed corn last spring.


Here we are “unloading on the go” – which means the combine does not stop.


Yesterday  we were able to harvest the test plot that contained several different hybrids where we visited on Friday.  Everyone is anxious to see the results!


We keep track of our yields by the bushels.  Corn is also sold by the bushel.


The majority of our corn is fed to our cattle.  We use the grinder/mixer to mix up different rations for different groups of cattle.


This is Iowa CORN FED BEEF!  (Notice our hoop barns in the background.)


Our pigs are also a part of the sustainable cycle on our farm.  Corn and soybean meal is fed to our pigs.


The manure is stored in an 8 ft. concrete pit under the building.  We pump the pits in the fall.


The manure is then injected into the soil for it provides a natural fertilizer for next year’s crop.


We also have plenty of cattle manure!


We also talked about how the children’s sweet corn business has grown over the years. Sweet corn is sold to local grocery stores,  at a roadside stand in town, and at the farm. Most of the corn you see when you drive down the road is field corn.  Less than 1% is sweet corn.  Our sweet corn is harvested by hand.  In northern Iowa and southern Minnesota where sweet corn processors are located you will see machines used to harvest sweet corn.


Photo credit to photographer  Joe Murphy, Iowa Soybean Association.


Sweet Corn Video  – This video tells about their combined efforts with Monsanto, Iowa Food Bank Association, and Iowa Food and Family Project to fight hunger in Iowa.

Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation – Here you will find a great wealth of information on agricultural literacy including lesson plans, links to other educational websites, and resources including  JOURNEY 2050 which takes students on a virtual simulation that explores world food sustainability.

I am anxious to read some of the student papers that were written as part of the Global Youth Institute!  We actually know a couple of students from previous years!  (It is a small world!)  2014’s theme was Confronting the Greatest Challenge in History when our neighbor, Anna Barr wrote her paper.  Cultivating Innovation to Feed the World was the theme in 2012, when my college roommate’s daughter, Stephanie McMillan wrote her paper.

As the evolution of technology has improved practices on the farm over the last few years, one thing remains the same – at the end of the day we are a family working together caring for the land and livestock to the best of our ability on the farm – where the miracle of food begins!

Thank you for your interest.  Please contact us if you have any questions. Have a great rest of the school year!

Julie and family

One thought on “World Food Prize

  1. That is great that you got to share about your farm with teachers and parents attending the World Food Prize. What a great experience! And now, thanks for sharing more information for them and all of us about your farm. 🙂

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