Monday, January 19, 2015
"A personal story about farming and the future of agriculture" by Mark Jackson
Maybe one of the most important things for us all is agriculture. It is an area that people do not often talk about or even notice, but for some people it is a way of life! One of these people is Mark Jackson, after 5 generations agriculture is a most important area in his life.
In 1890 his great-grandfather bought a small piece of land in Iowa. At the beginning he has problems, so he lost whole year’s crops. Something had to be changed so he planted soybeans in order to feed his livestock through cold winter. But he discovered that they are very healthy and very easy to work with!
After five generations Mark Jackson is still living and working at the same farm as his parents and grandfather. The interesting fact is that although he has big family only one person, his son, is real person for this job. He even says how happy he is for working together with him. Did you know that only 1% of the U.S. population is producing 50% of world’s soybean!
During Marks 40 years farming career, his farm increased significantly, the reasons for that are science and heavy machines that are very important. Another important technology used are computers. Using them Mark has increased production 3-4 times by reducing seeds and fertilizer, on the same land his grandfather was using. Although he has increased production he is still using sustainable production and environmental responsibility. He was one of the first farmers who started soybean farming with Unilever.
Mark says that future can be even better, but only if we start worrying about it. Because if we don’t improve and stop running water, air and earth, future generations will have serious problems with farming. If we improve our world (with mindful harvesting practices), and improve our technology (from use of grain cart scales and yield management systems), our farming will be better and production will be higher.