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Iowa Farmers Lend a Helping Hand

November 10, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - A key to easing world hunger is to teach farmers in the developing world how to produce more food. Recently, Oxfam America organized farmer-to-farmer meetings between producers in Iowa and farmers from Haiti and Vietnam. As part of "World Food Day," they toured local Iowa farms and discussed the power of investments in small farmers to help bring people out of poverty, and create lasting economic development.

Mark Runquist of High Hopes Gardens near Melbourne, Iowa, says climate change was one area of concern to all.

"We are all kind-of struggling, I think, to find out what the 'new normal' is, in terms of weather."

Many Iowa farmers have dealt with severe flooding over the past several years. The climate has also been a problem for producers in developing countries - with floods, fires and drought all cutting production. The international farmers also heard from U.S. agriculture leaders about critical efforts by policymakers to address world hunger.

Runquist says the farmers talked about ways to keep production up in spite of erratic weather.

"The weather is becoming increasingly a wild-card factor in farm production, and how you can become resilient in the face of changing patterns."

The international farmers said food insecurity and hunger are still a daily struggle and finding ways to stem that hunger will promote more global stability and peace.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - IA