University of Minnesota AgCultures Team Heads to South America on Adventure Learning Expedition Investigating the World’s Food Challenges

Expedition team leader Aaron Doering notes, “Our goal is to communicate the many stories of agriculture in ways that both raise awareness of the importance of issues like food security, climate change impacts, and technological innovation…”

How are we feeding the more than 7 billion people on Earth? As more and more of the U.S. population is removed from agriculture, it is important to understand where our food comes from, and the diversity and global reach of the agriculture industry. It’s also important to understand the enormous impacts climate and environment shifts are having on agriculture. In a report on global food security, the World Bank notes the world will need to produce 50% more food by 2050, but if climate change continues to worsen, it could potentially cut yields by as much as 25% or more. A University of Minnesota team is tackling these issues, combining inspirational physical adventures with shared educational ones as they investigate the latest technologies, innovations, and challenges in agriculture around the world.

The AgCultures team is headed next to Paraguay and Argentina, countries where some of the largest U.S. agriculture companies do business. Paraguay has the third largest barge and river system in the world. In its Chaco region, sometimes referred to as South America’s last agricultural frontier, it houses the highest ratio of cows to people found anywhere on the planet. Argentina also has a thriving cattle industry, along with being the third largest soybean producer in the world. The team will explore sites ranging from cattle ranches to sunflower plants, from the biggest dairy farm in South America to remote indigenous communities in Paraguay, and small family farms in the grasslands of Argentina. The family farms they’ll be visiting in Argentina are in a region greatly impacted by the death of the railroads, similar to what many rural agricultural communities in the U.S. faced when automobiles became king here.

Expedition team leader Aaron Doering notes, “Our goal is to communicate the many stories of agriculture in ways that both raise awareness of the importance of issues like food security, climate change impacts, and technological innovation, and that inspire young people to get involved…

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