“Journey to the Extraordinary” was the theme for the 2015 Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit, held in Kansas City instead of the usual Washington DC venue.
One of first speakers at the event was National Geographic’s Dennis Dimick who provided an in-depth look at how the magazine covers agricultural issues, particularly the 2014 “Future of Food” series. “We didn’t want to just do a series for people in agriculture,” Dimick said. “We’re trying to reach the public who are interested in food.”
Food, Dimick noted, is a crucial area of common ground that will help foster conversations about the future of agriculture. “Food is one of the key binding rituals of our civilization,” he said.
Dimick actually grew up on a farm in Oregon and once considered becoming a vocational agriculture teacher. “I was a sophomore in college and I bought a camera and was that time majoring in ag education,” he said. “The seduction of the camera set me on a different path and I started taking journalism classes.”
As an editor at National Geographic, Dimick has been focused on raising awareness of global sustainability issues and he brought up the idea to the magazine to do a series on feeding the growing population. “It ended up being eight stories in 2014 on a variety of subjects, including how are we going to feed nine billion,” he said. “We are actually continuing the project for at least a couple more years.”