January 30, 2020 | By Pierre Ferrari

Featured Commentary - Why is Global Food Security Important for US Farmers?

Seventy-five years ago, the world was emerging from the most damaging war ever fought. Much of Europe was in ruins, many lives had been lost, and families were pushed to the brink of starvation.

At this time, a young farmer from the Midwest called Dan West headed to Spain to help families displaced by the country’s civil war. Day in, day out, West and his fellow humanitarians set up their soup kitchen, feeding the hungry and weary. People would leave their service with their bellies full, but often without knowing where their next meal would come from.

On his return to the United States, West continued to develop an idea that had first come to him back in Spain. What if families on the war-torn continent had their own livestock, producing enough milk to add much-needed nutrition to people’s diets?

This idea marked the beginning of the organization I lead today, Heifer International. West and other American farmers knew the importance of food security in a fragmented world and started sending shipments of cows to communities across the world, equipping them with the means to feed themselves and generate their own income.

Fast forward to today, and many U.S. farmers are themselves struggling to make ends meet. Diversity has disappeared from most American farms and ongoing trade disputes sow uncertainty for an industry that thrives on stability. Faced with their own problems in this increasingly introspective climate, should global food security remain important for U.S. farmers? 


>>>Read the full article on Agri-Pulse 


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

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End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

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The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

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ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA


| By Roger Thurow

Our New Gordian Knot

Fifty years ago Dr. Norman Borlaug recieved the Nobel Peace Prize for cutting the "Goridan knot" of population and food production. Now the planet faces another seemingly intractable problem: how to nourish the planet while preserving the planet. 

| By Janet Fierro

Guest Commentary - Rural Niger Women find Opportunity and Hope through Innovative Business Model

When researchers set out to find natural ways to manage a crop-destroying pest in sub-Saharan Africa cowpea fields they knew the results could have significant positive impact on smallholder farmers. What they may not have expected was the significance of the cottage industry it inspired and the entrepreneurial spirit of the rural women of Niger who led it.