The question on the mind of every farmer and rancher at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 97th Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show is how do we feed 9.3 billion people by the year 2050? Emily Downey, North America marketing manager for Alltech, reminded workshop attendees that the question was on the minds of everyone in agriculture, both domestically and abroad.

“It has historically been thought that the role and responsibility of feeding the world would go to governments, NGOs or charities,” Downey explained. “All those organizations do great work; we have found that over the past 40 years, those approaches are just not meeting the need. So it will take all of us in agriculture to come together collectively and feed the world.”

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, feeding the world will take another 1 million tons of cereal and 2 million tons of meat. Alltech’s focus on improving growth in the feed industry and throughout agriculture is the idea of GLIMPSE. This survey of experts in the feed industry from across the world pinpoints the major challenges agriculture will need to address. It stands for:

G = Government
L = Losses in the food and ingredient supply chain
I = Infrastructure (trains, trucks, ports, cold storage, supermarkets, etc.)
M = Markets
P = Politics & Policies
S = Science & Innovation
E = Environment

By tackling GLIMPSE Downey believes that we can not only feed those additional people but also do so sustainably. The most important factor is for those working in agriculture to come together to face these challenges.

“What we know to be the most important factor in agriculture is people — the human capital,” Downey said. “They are said to be the glue that will define the success of our challenge to feed the world all while preserving the resources of agricultural land and water.”