14 January, 2022
Image: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Quote of the Week:
"The environmental destruction caused by the agricultural sector often drives women into farming, particularly those who were not born into this business. The sector is at the same time one of the leading causes of the climate crisis and one of the industries most affected by it.

In her 12,000 square-metre warehouse in Hume, on Canberra’s south-eastern fringe, Olympia Yarger has created a circular process where food and agricultural waste is converted into high protein livestock feed.

Black soldier fly and mealworm beetle larvae live in growing rooms for 12 days, where they consume waste that Yarger collects from neighbouring businesses. Later, they are moved to the processing room, sifted from the frass (waste byproduct), and washed with water in a large sieve to remove the remaining waste. 

Most larvae are then euthanised with carbon dioxide, dehydrated and sold as livestock feed. Yarger’s farm produces 1 tonne of livestock feed per week, during which it consumes as much as 40 tonnes of food waste.

Some larvae are let to grow for a few more days until they become pupae. These are moved to the aviaries, large rooms where the flies mate and produce eggs. And the cycle begins again.

“We waste one-third of all the food that we produce, and that creates a lot of methane,” says Yarger. “This is a way to make more with what we have already. It’s exciting. The climate crisis for me is the motivator for being a better farmer.”"

– Manuela Callari, Cosmos Magazine





...and finally, some food for thought

“In one of the most revealing studies in recent years, a 2016 survey of 137,456 full-time, first-year students at 184 colleges and universities in the United States, the U.C.L.A. Higher Education Research Institute found “the largest-ever gender gap in terms of political leanings: 41.1 percent of women, an all-time high, identified themselves as liberal or far left, compared to 28.9 percent of men.”

The institute has conducted freshmen surveys every year since 1966. In the early days, until 1980, men were consistently more liberal than women. In the early and mid-1980s, the share of liberals among male and female students was roughly equal, but since 1987, women have been more liberal than men in the first year of college.

While liberal and left identification among female students reached a high in 2016, male students remained far below their 1971 high, which was 44 percent.

Along parallel lines, a Knight Foundation survey in 2017 of 3,014 college students asked: “If you had to choose, which do you think is more important, a diverse and inclusive society or protecting free speech rights.”

Male students preferred protecting free speech over an inclusive and diverse society by a decisive 61 to 39. Female students took the opposite position, favoring an inclusive, diverse society over free speech by 64 to 35.

Majorities of both male and female college students in the Knight survey support the view that the First Amendment should not be used to protect hate speech, but the men were more equivocal, at 56 to 43, than women, at 71 to 29."

– Thomas B. Edsall, The New York Times


Advancing Women in Agriculture through Research and Education (AWARE) is an initiative by the Department of Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University to engage a community focused on empowering women in agriculture. AWARE believes that empowering women as an underserved group holds the greatest potential to make significant impacts in agricultural development.

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