I must becoming a little travel savvy as I’ve managed to sleep my way across the North Atlantic on our way to France. The Global Focus Tour seems to be as much about learning to manage getting yourself out of a meeting and onto an international flight on time as much as anything.
The 3 key points I take home my travels so far is this:
1) Water is King
2) Water is King
3) Water is King
It doesn’t matter whether your in the USA, Mongolia or Australia, access to water opens up options and opportunities like nothing else.
Apart from visiting farms, universities and research stations, we sampled American mid-west culture big time with a visit to the Oklahoma State Fair. You’ve got to hand it to their culinary genius, there really is nothing they can’t deep fry.
The last two days in Washington DC helped us put the jigsaw that is the American Agricultural system together, basically, if you want to understand it, you need to understand the Farmbill which is such a work in motion that it takes a bit of keeping up with. They are currently crafting the 2012 Farmbill even though the 2008 bill hasn’t been implemented yet so how can they know if policies in the 08 bill will actually work? Tricky and complicated. Food stamps take up a large portion of the “ag” budget and are basically a welfare payment that people can use to buy food, can’t help thinking that in our area that would be a better system than weekly payments that often end up being spent on alcohol and cigarettes.
The bio-technology debate is interesting, America is much more open to the use of science for improving production than most of the western world. It seems to me that the evolvement of societal thinking starts when people are hungry with a focus on food on the table, shifts to profit at all costs as wealth increases, moves on again to science with the availability of profit and an interest in increasing profit, then to making decisions based on emotions as we become in Don’s words; ‘spoilt, fat and lazy.’
Most of us agree that the best part about this trip is the discussions we have after a meeting or visit. With such a diverse mix of experience and skills we can dissect an interview or business and add dimensions to each other’s understanding that we couldn’t do singly.
We’re really looking forward to France, for the change of diet as much as anything else.