As an annual tradition, the MU Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter hosts Farm Forum, a fall lectureship featuring guest speakers discussing “hot topics” in current agricultural issues. This year, the distinguished speaker was Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst with guest panelists Kent Shannon, with University of Missouri Extension and Ray Massey, MU professor of agricultural and applied economics.
More than 50 students attended the event Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Monsanto Auditorium of the Bond Life Sciences Center.
Hurst is an MU alumnus with many ties to agriculture as a farmer in northeast Missouri and president of the state’s largest agricultural organization. Hurst’s message focused on emerging data privacy issues from new agricultural technologies. Essentially, the information being sent to combine systems regarding crop data may be accessible to others. This could impact markets and potentially put producers at an economic disadvantage. The controversy lies in how the information is being used and who will have access to it.
“I know personally, I do not want my farm’s information being open to my neighbors or anyone for that matter,” Hurst said.
The Collegiate Farm Bureau officer team thought this topic would be relevant to students because it has an impact on nearly every major within CAFNR. The organization strives to spread awareness regarding policy issues that students will need to understand. Collegiate Farm Bureau is supported by both Missouri Farm Bureau and Boone County Farm Bureau, which encourage students’ success with events such as Farm Forum. Through the chapter’s Facebook page, they reach a diverse membership that allows students to showcase Farm Bureau’s connection to everyone, not just agriculturalists.
“The Mizzou Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter has developed as a premier growth organization,” Morgan Beach, Collegiate Farm Bureau student council representative, said.