Friday, March 15, 2019

National Agriculture Day

The Washington Rotary club was joined by several guests at last weeks Rotary meeting to celebrate Ag Day, which was March 14th. Don Vittetoe brought in guest speaker Aaron Putze from the Iowa Soybean Association to speak to the group about some important issues the American soybean farmer is currently facing.
Aaron grew up on a farm in West Bend, IA. He has a degree in public communications from UNI, and is currently employed as the Director of Communications & External Relations for the Iowa Soybean Association.
Aaron reminded us of the importance of Agriculture in not only feeding the world, but also providing all sorts of other material products, as well as renewable energy sources. Only 4% of the world's surface is usable in producing food. Iowa is one of the Nation's largest agricultural states, with 86% of our ground being farmed ground. The United States produced over 500 million bushels of soybeans last year, with Iowa being the number 2 producing state (second to Illinois, Iowa has been number 1 in past years. The recent drop is due to an increase in hog production).
America is currently the largest producer of soybeans world wide, while China is the largest consumer of soybeans worldwide. In fact, China uses approximately 97% of the soybean crop grown world-wide in a given year. This is scary for American farmers currently, due to the trade war that has begun between China and the United States in recent months. With taxes and tariffs on our products on the rise, China has significantly decreased its import of American soybeans. This has caused soybean prices to drop nationwide, and leads to an uncertain future for our farmers.
Aaron is visiting China at the end of March to meet with people there to learn more about the issues at hand, to discuss the future of trade between the two nations, and how this might affect the American farmer.
As it 3.14 is also National Pie Day, Aaron asked for crowd participation with a price of mini pies! Thank you to everyone who brought guests for the presentation; it was wonderful to have such a large crowd.

 Becky Patterson with guest Gary Kos

 Ed Lins with guest Jim Cuddeback

 Jim Gorham with guest Larry Marek

 Craig Davis with guest Eric Schmitt

 Bob Kennedy with guest Bill Edwards

 Amber Trettin with guest Josh Trettin

 Kurt Sorensen with guest Amand Russell

 Cheryl Kurtz with guest Heather Marek

 Don Vittetoe with guest Alicia Vittetoe and Guest Speaker Aaron Putze

Matt Greiner with guest Rachel Fishback

Sue Basten with guests Pat and Jared Gent

 Michelle Redlinger with guest Jill Venden

Paul Horak with guest Ron Farrier

Gary Murphy with guest Andy McCall

 Don introduces the program

Aaron Putze with the Iowa Soybean Association speaks to Washington Rotarians

Last Week, Brent Hinson presented to the Rotary club about changes coming to the Washington community regarding the recycling process in the city limits.

Upcoming Events:
March 21: Amy Schulte
March 28: Sean Cortum
April 4: Connie Larson
April 11: Willie Stone
April 18: Emory Van Gerpen (Holy Week)
April 25: Bob Lamb