By: Geert Pinxterhuis, Chairman of Dutch Roots

Participants of the Dutch Roots congress sent us over 80 stories to share on our website. Many more stories in text and image, as a result of our congress programme, reached agricultural media throughout the world thanks to over 200 participants, representing more than 45 countries. On our website, we welcomed visitors from 124 countries.

These numbers accentuate the network we’ve built around IFAJ2018 World Congress Dutch Roots. Thanks to the contacts of members of our Dutch guild NVLJ, our partners and sponsors and of course the IFAJ.

It was a really great feeling to be in the centre of this network during a couple of days. It was the reward of over two years of preparation, which has its excitements and challenges in itself.

Our jobs
At the moment, colleagues in the United States are preparing for their congress in 2019. And the Danish started the journey to their IFAJ congress in 2020 as well. We wish them all the best. And fun, of course!

Within the period towards these congresses, the ‘wrestling’ between the US and China will have its effect. The UK will leave the European Union and new leaders in South American countries will also put their marks on the geopolitical sabre rattling. This will have its impact on the international agricultural markets, like climate change will affect yields and earnings of farmers all over the world. And we, journalists and communicators, will do our jobs in writing, telling and shooting the stories.

Build a cathedral
A lovely task, but also a majorly important one, as Louise Fresco, President of Wageningen University & Research, stated at our congress: “Agriculture is not limited to placing stones or bricks to build a wall, its goal is to build a cathedral: a great long-term project that requires the joint work of different experts.”

With this in mind, we enter the last weeks of 2018. A remarkable year, in many ways. And already knowing next year will bring its own memorable moments and stories. The Dutch team wishes you all a great holiday season. And next year many, many ‘stones’ for every single contribution to the building of the cathedral that agriculture is, a sector and its entrepreneurs to which we feel so engaged.