A Path Of Thirteen Years...

Remember how many years it takes to get a GM seed to marker? 
If you don't get a refresher here. 
Now, check out this process of all the steps a GM seed must go through before making it to market!

GMO's: From The Lab To Our Field

As farmers and ranchers one thing that is quickly becoming a hot topic, as I have mentioned before, is genetically modified seeds. If your farmer grows GM seeds, then chances are at one time or another the topic will come up. I think this is a great info graphic from U.S. Farmers and Ranchers that shows a "Time to Market Comparison" of different products. 
One of the comments I hear often is that that people don't trust genetically modified seeds. I recently learned the amazing fact that in order for a new trait to even get approved it has to go through 13 years of testing and research. 13 years! Wow!
Check out this chart below, it may be surprising to see some of these...

The Hottest Topic In The Food Industry Part 2

A few weeks ago on my trip to St. Louis I was enlightened and completely intrigued to hear from some of the top people in the food industry talk about GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms). I blogged about it here, and today I wanted to talk about why I am so supportive of using GMO's on farms across America.

First off the process of getting a biotech trait approved is pretty intense. The USDA process takes 13 to 15 months for one biotech trait. And that trait is tested over and over and over. 

A trait is a distinguishing characteristic. Very similar to humans having brown hair or blue eyes. And a GMO's are plants with traits that are helping us farm more efficiently. For example, last year we had a little something across the Midwest, called a "drought year". It just so happened we planted a little something called a "drought resistant crop". Not all of our fields, but we did have a few. This drought resistant crop helped us to grow a crop with little rain because of that special little trait.

Now, this helped us during a drought year…but the another great benefit of having a plant with this trait is what it could mean for climates that are typically more dry.

Technology continues to improve. It allows us to plant our crops in all types of conditions. And this could mean growing crops in places of the world where the environment doesn't always allow.

It means growing more on less land. As the world's population continues to grow so does our need to offer more food to feed them.

It means protecting our crops from pest infestations so we will never have to suffer a complete crop loss because of bugs.

By the year 2050 the world's population is expected to reach 9 billion, which means we will need 70% more food. Biotechnology allows us to farm with less water, less fuel, less fertilizer, and less pesticides.

Biotechnology is sustainability.

Biotechnology is feeding the world.

Next post on GMO's I am going to be talking about the awesome things that are happening at the Danforth Science Center in St. Louis. There are some very passionate people working there who believe in biotechnology and sustainable agriculture.

The Hottest Topic In The Food Industry

Has got to be GMO's. Or Genetically Modified Organisms. Or Genetically Engineered Foods. I wonder if they will change the acronym now? Or the simple term Biotechnology.

Anyway, it's something that has become a norm in the grocery store, in the legislative, and a top concern among consumers.

The topic is one of my top questions that I get asked. Last week I decided to take a quick trip to St. Louis to listen to some of the top players when it comes to GMO's. And when I say quick I mean I spent more time in an airport and the car than at the meeting.

But, I will have to say that it is one of the best meetings I have been to yet. The knowledge was abundant and I feel even more confident in saying we grow GMO's and I support them. Here's why.

First off the speakers we listened to are both considered "experts" in biotechnology. So, some may say it is a one sided opinion. However, it's hard to argue when these people have dedicated their lives to not only biotechnology but providing food to underprivileged countries and have made it a personal journey of solving the world's food problems.

We discussed everything from the definition of biotechnology v. traditional breeding to the labeling laws that are trying to get passed in various states (It recently failed in California).

Traditional breeding is something you will see in heirloom seeds or even in the different varieties in the greenhouse you may choose your garden plants from. In traditional breeding you basically are choosing from a parent line and select the traits you are looking for and creating a new plant.

With Biotechnology a trait is chosen in one plant and studied for years and that trait is very well understood before being put into another plant.

I often explain biotechnology as us nudging Mother Nature along. However, it was pointed out that for over 10,000 years we have been interfering with Mother Nature, selecting what we want in plants (traditional breeding) and making new plants. In biotechnology we have vast knowledge of one trait and we aren't creating something new we are simply putting that one trait into something else.

I wanted to get the basic definitions before I continue on with my findings at this meeting. So, look for more in the next couple of weeks about biotechnology, feeding the world, and the Danforth Science Center that is doing AMAZING things in St. Louis.