40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World by Howard G. Buffett

Many books make one reflect upon he or she’s life, but when you read a book that changes your life, you want to share it with the world!

Though, some are like me and just want to highlight the entire book and then never let it go.

         I began reading this book over the Christmas break and from the very first page I could not put it down. It grabbed my attention because it tells 40 honest stories about the brutal and hopeful aspect of agriculture and the influence it has on everyone. From rich to poor, this book gives you an insider to many people we overlook. It is about a wealthy family of philanthropists who set up foundations to to aid in world hunger. I remember being on the plane and I just could not quit sobbing because I had just read of this story of these people who are enslaved into prostitution, warfare, and poverty. We think sending more aid will be the solution, but we do not consider that we will actually put the locals out of business if we send the product they are making their living off of. We do not consider the drug lord or the sex trade. We do not consider the limited rights or that we live on some of the best soil in the world. The immense amount of hardships that so many people go through just to live is incredible. We see farming as a passive activity, which is ridiculous because 75% of the people in developing countries are farmers. This is why we must educators of agriculture.

This book takes the reader beyond their comfort zone and makes you confront the realities of this world and of agriculture. If anything, I have a greater appreciation for the land I was born on and a deeper passion to expand agricultural education to society. I developed my life mission simply from this book; this is the impact that it had. I encourage you to pick this book, especially if you are looking for a challenging read. The context is simple, yet it will leave dumbfounded by truths we seem be unaware of in our everyday lives.

Favorite Quotes(A few):

“If American children deserve healthy meals, so do children in other countries”

“Emergency intervention is just a temporary pain killer”

“American farmers are unique in the world for several reasons. They have access to vast, flat regions of our country with good soils within what I call the “fertility belt”, or the region in the Northern Hemisphere between the 30th and 45th parallels. That region compromises most of the lower forty-eight states, and it holds the most temperate climate, the best soils, and the most productive agricultural lands in the world.”

“When you feel yourself draw to do or try something, don’t over think it”


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