Hi, I'm Junior. I study International Food and Agribusiness in the Netherlands and I will soon complete my internship on a biodynamic farm. Ask Me Anything :)

Jun 18, 2017

At the moment, I will soon complete my internship on a biodynamic farm. I am presently working on producing biodiesel(from vegetable oil) on a small-scale to serve as fuel for the tractors and to make this farming system as sustainble as possible

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What does it mean if a food product is labeled 'biodynamic'?

Jun 20, 7:42AM EDT1

Hello Lisa, thank you for your question. The thing is biodynamics sill falls under the category of organic farming, so products from a biodynamic farm are labelled "Organic". The term organic with respect to farming implies the production of food be it animal or crop using fertilizers/pesticides of natural origin only( from animals or plants), even the seeds from which the crops were planted or parents of animals being reared must be organic. 

You are welcome.

Jun 23, 5:02PM EDT0

What are some of the best schools for studying International Food and Agribusiness?

Jun 19, 8:35PM EDT1

Hi Ashley, good question. I got a nice list for you, my school first and others I got  from the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association:

HAS University Of Applied Sciences

Alabama A&M University

Alcorn State University 

Arizona State University 

Auburn University

California Polytechnic State University 

FInd more at: www.ifama.org/page-18300

You're welcome :)


Jun 23, 4:26PM EDT0

How do you explain biodynamic farming in layman's terms?

Jun 19, 8:24PM EDT1

Hi Chelsea, very good one. 

Biodynamic farming is a type of farming system that grows crops according to the Earth's natural way of growing crops, it involves the use of no artificially made fertilizers while taking into account the effect of the Earth's and other bodies in the universe, energy influence on crop quality and the farmer's mental and physical wellbeing.

Sounds good?

Jun 23, 4:51PM EDT0

How do you raise awareness about healthy and sustainable farm practices?

Jun 19, 6:33PM EDT1

Good one Anderson, I always present facts to the people I talk about sustainable agriculure with. One of these facts goes thus: 

- The longterm use of artificial fertilizers on farmland slowly but surely has a reverse effect on soil fertility. These nutrients get washed out of the soil by rainfall since most non-sustainable farms hardly cover the soil on which crops are grown with organic matter.

- I also suggest very meaningful documentaries on sustainability to anyone interested such as : Before The Flood by Leonardo Di Caprio (Brilliant documentary by the way)

-I'm a member of an association called GET SMART, one of our aims is to educate kids on sustainability. We simply visit schools and organize fun workshops during which kids get to play and learn about endangered plants and animals.

Jun 23, 5:13PM EDT0

Would you eat lab-created meat or feed it to your family?

Jun 19, 3:23PM EDT1

Hi Eschwartz, interesting question right there. 

Let me give you a short history on lab-created meat.... Animal rearing, mostly cattle rearing, has a very significant impact on climate change due to the high amount of methane produced by cows worldwide, Note that methane is a green house gas which retains heat as much as 10+ times more than carbondioxide. Due to this scientists thought of quite a different way of producing meat : Cloning. Lab created meat is produced from cells of animal for example a cow (I know cattle again, let’s just keep reading 😉). These cells are provided with conditions and "nutrients" similar to the normal biochemicals and temperature of a cow. Due to these, the cells are able to multiply and eventually produce some meat. Still following? yes? okay fast forward, I have seen and had the opportunity to taste meat produced this way, but my values and sense of reason won't let me eat it, talkless feeding it to my family.

Jun 23, 3:55PM EDT0

Would you purchase GMO foods to feed your own family?

Jun 19, 2:14PM EDT0

Hi Kevin, thank you for your time. 

To be honest I don't understand why Genetically modified Organisms are used in food production. Previous scientific research has proven that GMO feed used on mammals such as pigs led to a sharp increase in the occurence respiratory issues and Uterine weight gain. Note that human beings are mammals as well, see the link? So, no I will not buy GMO-foods to feed my family.

Cheers man :)

Jun 23, 3:39PM EDT0

How can consumers be more informed about the food they eat?

Jun 19, 9:54AM EDT0

Hi Brit, awesome question. Knowing what you eat enables you to have a high control on your health. The best way to Know what it is you're eating is to eat locally.

-Buy food produced in your community. Visit the farmers and have a tour around the farm( farmers always organize tours for present and prospective customers for FREE!).

-Don't buy food from multinational supermarkets, these companies minimize their costs as much as possible while maximizing profits, generally there is/are social and/or environmental or issue(s) linked to the food sold by these companies. Finding this information is synonym to looking for a pin in a pile of hay

-If you have a garden grow some vegetables and fruits, the best way to know what you eat is to produce it your self :)

Jun 19, 3:51PM EDT0

What is the difference between organic and biodynamic farming?

Jun 19, 8:05AM EDT1

Hi Micheal, thank you for your question. 

Biodynamics has a holistic view of agriculture. It recognizes and implements the biological practices common to organic farming while combining these with "dynamic practices" that take into account the influence of planetary bodies on the the growth of crops. These dynamic practices are used to utilize the positive energy of nature to not only produce food of better quality but to achieve mental and physical wellbeing as well.

The principles of biodynamic farming have a very broad base, reasonI'm limiting myself to the difference above. It is a brief overview of what biodynamics entails.

Unfortunately this farming system is not so popular because scientists have a hard time believing certain things they can't really explain. I've been working here for almost 2 months now, believe me it works. I'm doing great really!! Both mentally and physically and I love the energy of the people I work with. Oh and our crops are doing great :)


Jun 19, 3:42PM EDT0

How would you describe the job prospects in the agribusiness industry?

Jun 19, 4:02AM EDT1

Hi Nathan, good question. I literally just copied and pasted my answer from a similar question I got earlier.

There are actually a lot of job titles associated with this study, due to the fact that it views Food and Agribusinees from a world wide perspective. Here are a few jobs associated with this industry:

-Quality controller: focuses on improving the output and quality of a farm's production

-Marketing head: leads marketing strategy for a farm, builds awareness and buzz

-Market analyst: analyzes the financial condition of the agribusiness economic market

-Farm appraiser: assessing the value of a farm, its employees and facilities

-Agricultural policy analyst: develops and analyzes policies that affect agricultural businesses

-Farm manager: manages daily operations of a farm, including crops and livestock

Jun 19, 3:27PM EDT0

What is your expert opinion on GMO foods?

Jun 19, 1:17AM EDT1

Very good question Jason!

The amount of genuine scientific information available on Genetically Modified Organisms is quite limited due to patent rights owned by GMO manufacturers that prevent scientist from researching these organisms. However, it has been scientifically proven that long-term consumption of GMO foods caused respiratory problems and an increase of the Uterine weight of mammals such as pigs. Human beings are mammals.... See the link? 

However, GMO foods have been classified under the GRAS(Generally Reconized As Safe) category by the US Food And Drug Administration. I was astonished when I found that out. 

In my opinion humans should not intefere with the Earth's natural selection. I do not recommend anyone to consume these.

Jun 19, 3:24PM EDT0

How have your own eating habits been influenced by your studies?

Jun 18, 11:35PM EDT1

Hi Christianca, good question :)

Yes my eating habits have changed a lot! I got to learn about different food production systems and the actual calorific value of each macro nutrient. Before, I used to eat whatever I felt like whenever( I still do, just rarely), now I plan my meals based on the WHO recommendations on daily nutrient requirements , while complementing nutrients by combining different foods.

Also I eat less beef due to the fact that catttle rairing has a direct impact on climate change, large scale farms especially.

Jun 19, 3:12PM EDT0

Do you belong to the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association?

Jun 18, 9:48PM EDT0

Hi George, you actually just reminded about a symposium I have been following up organized by IFAMA, thank you :)

Unfortunately I am not a member.

Jun 19, 3:00PM EDT0

What can an agribusiness manager expect to earn?

Jun 18, 9:38PM EDT0

Hey Steven, thank you for your question. 

Such a manager depending on the sector she/he works in, be it food, animal or crop production, she/he will earn the satisfaction of knowing people consume good quality food as a result of their hardwork, and a comfortable wage of approximately €70,000+ anually.

Note that this only applies to managers that really value what they do for a living in my opinion

Jun 19, 2:54PM EDT0

What are some of the sustainable practices in the agriculture industry?

Jun 18, 7:09PM EDT0

Hi Susan, interesting question. There a lot of sustainable practices all over the world relevant to agricuture. Here are my top 5.

1) Cycling farm nutrients in line with the natural biogeochemical cycles of the Earth

2)Using no artificially made medecine on life stock.

3)Harvesting rain water for irrigation rather than extracting ground water or using sea water

4)Little to no soil tillage; to avoid disturbing the beneficial microrganisms in the soil

5)Intergrated pest management, which involves the use of biological means(organisms)  available to manage and prevent pests and diseases from disrupting the farm's equilibriul.

Jun 19, 2:46PM EDT0

Why should consumers care about how their food is grown?

Jun 18, 6:51PM EDT0

Hi Davis, great question man. You see,  the method through which crops are grown has a direct effect on the quality of yield. For example in a conventional farm a lot of artificial nitrogen and phosphate based fertilizers as well as pesticides are sprayed on crops to keep the farm void of pesticides and enable crops grow quickly. In the long run, consuming food from this sort of farm will lead to the bioaccumulation of pesticide and fertilizer residues in your body. We both don't to eat pesticides/fertilizers do we? On the other hand, artificial pesticides and fertilizers are never used in sustainable farming systems such biodynamic farming.... Knowing the way your food is grown lets you know what you really are eating i.e artificial chemicals or natural plant nutrients.

Jun 19, 2:27PM EDT0

What are your favorite documentaries about food consumption and the agriculture industry?

Jun 18, 6:11PM EDT1

Hey William, I love documentaries concerning the agrifood sector. Here are a few that I definitely recommend you to watch

-Before The Flood

-No Impact Man

-INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective

Jun 19, 2:32PM EDT0

What are some job titles associated with the study of International Food and Agribusiness?

Jun 18, 5:55PM EDT0

Hi Parker, good question. There are actually a lot of job titles associated with this study, due to the fact that it views Food and Agribusinees from a world wide perspective.Here are a few jobs associated with this study:

-Quality controller: focuses on improving the output and quality of a farm's production

-Marketing head: leads marketing strategy for a farm, builds awareness and buzz

-Market analyst: analyzes the financial condition of the agribusiness economic market

-Farm appraiser: assessing the value of a farm, its employees and facilities

-Agricultural policy analyst: develops and analyzes policies that affect agricultural businesses

-Farm manager: manages daily operations of a farm, including crops and livestock

Jun 19, 2:38PM EDT0

Why should we care about the loss of family farms?

Jun 18, 5:27PM EDT0

Hello Ewalker, great question man. The thing is family farms are generally small to medium scale enterprises, that have a relatively little carbon footprint compared to megafarms. Unfortunately, what we found out when studying agriculture in Western countries is family farms are getting lost over time while megafarms keep getting bigger. 

A high carbon footprint directly and indirectly implies a faster rate of climate change. 

Jun 19, 3:57PM EDT0

How did you apply for and obtain an internship?

Jun 18, 5:06PM EDT0

Hi Jonathan, thank you for your question. I did some online research on sustainable farms in my vicinity I found a lot actually. This farming system attracted my attention so I called the manager and scheduled and interview. A week later I got a call with good news; I was employed :)

Jun 19, 4:01PM EDT0

What is the advantage of serving an internship, in terms of finding a job?

Jun 18, 4:50PM EDT0

Hi Regina, Good question.

Jobs requirements always include having previous experience. An emplyoyer wants an employee who will add value to his company, not an employee who will be taught how the company works. By doing internships, you get to gain this experience over the years such that by the end of your studies you've greatly understood the theoritical and practical aspects of your courses. You have more value than a student who has never done an internship. You are what the job market wants!!

Jun 19, 4:06PM EDT0
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