Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Thursday, 21st March 2013.

CIMMYT Research Station - International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre

Spent the day at this world leading research station which was the home of Dr Norman Borlaug, the father of the " Green Revolution ". Wheat breeding and selection carried out here has contributed to many varieties that are currently being used around the globe.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Wednesday, 20th March 2013.

Long day travelling from Washington D.C. to Obregon in North West Mexico via Mexico City. Mexico City is huge with close to 30 million living there. Everyone is enjoying the warmer climate.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Tuesday, 19th March, 2013.

Another day in Washington all suited up. More meetings and briefings on US Agriculture and the economy. The highlight of the day was our meeting with former congressman Charlie Stenholm who is now a lobbyist for the cotton, technology and oil/gas industries. Charlie shared some of his life experiences and his views about the US economy and how he would solve some of the problems.

Monday,18th March,2013.

Washington D.C.

Today was spent in a suit and tie, attending meetings and briefings in the US Capitol about US Agriculture and the Farm Bill. Hope Pjesky, our host in Washington D.C., provided us with an overview of the US Farm Bill and the US political system as well as leading us around the subway and streets to various meeting locations.

In the evening we were hosted by the Australian Embassy along with members of the Pennsylvania Rural-Urban Leadership Program for a briefing, some wine tasting and a chance to mingle.

It was definitely a birthday out of the ordinary.

Sunday, 17th March, 2013.

Travelled from Toronto, Canada to Washingon D.C. ( early start and a long day ). We did the D.C. lights tour of the various monuments, Capitol Hill and the White House and were able to get some good photos with them all lit up at night. Also had our first experience on the subway - quick and easy way to get around but had to be careful the doors didn't shut on you!

Nuffield Contemporary Scholars Conference, 9th - 17th March, 2013.

The 2013 Nuffield Contemporary Scholars Conference was held in Guelph and Niagara, Ontario, Canada. Approximately 60 scholars attended from Canada, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, along with some Brazilian and United States delegates.

Introductions and team building events included attending an ice hockey match, learning to curl and a scavenger hunt around the University of Guelph.

The conference consisted of a range of speakers on the Canadian and Ontario Agriculture and Food sectors, Ontario's Bioproducts industry and training in the use of social media. Leading farms and businesses in the area were visited and there was a lot of discussion and networking between scholars on study topics and the various farming operations everyone was involved in.

For some of the Aussie scholars it was the first time they had seen snow and for some the coldest weather they had ever experienced.

Niagara Falls was an impressive sight from our hotel but even more so from the Skylon Tower where the final conference dinner was held.

Friday, 8th March 2013.

We visited the dairy farm of Ross and Colin Crabb. Black Creek Farms has an annual rainfall of 1250 mm however the current drought is putting pressure on pasture and silage supplies. 640 Kiwi cross cows are milked on 215 ha producing 380 kg of milk solids per cow. Pasture and maize silage are grown on farm and fed to the cows on a feed pad prior to milking with small amounts of palm kernel provided to the cows in the bail. A very tidy 52 bail rotary is used for milking and we were shown an impressive maize crop which was a month from harvest.

The afternoon was spent in Auckland with a quick look around the harbour and then off to the airport for our flight to Canada.