A dozen farmers from 11 different countries shared stories of their struggles and successes Wednesday at an annual event in Des Moines.

Larry Sailer, who farms near Iowa Falls, served as the U.S. representative on the Global Farmer Roundtable. Sailer said he watched from the audience in prior years, but wanted to be part of the discussion this year.

“I’ve written blogs, I’ve been on social media, I’ve given a hundred presentations around the state – just sharing what we do as farmers,” Sailer said. “It’s not ‘Old MacDonald’s Farm’ anymore. There’s a reason we do what we do.”

The Global Farmer Roundtable is held in conjunction with the World Food Prize events. A.D. Alvarez, a corn grower in the Philippines, said he ignores negative talk about technology, resulting in his production being 10-to-12 times that of other farmers.

“Increasing yields means you’re increasing income, and increasing income means you’re attacking the root of poverty,” Alvarez said. Like Alvarez and Sailer, Cheryl Hazenberg is trying to counter what she calls “negative propaganda” that comes up in Google searches on agriculture. The Canadian transplant said she tries to post “positive agricultural images” daily from her new home in Ireland.

“Where I’m coming from is, somebody’s got to put the positive out there,” Hazenberg said. “At least, if I’m putting these positive images out, when people search, there’s a chance they’re going to come across the correct information.” Hazenberg and her husband milk 70 Holsteins in Ireland.

(Thanks to Tom Steever, Brownfield Ag News)