Cogwheel Archive

Northfield Rotary Cogwheel | 10.8.09

October 7, 2009

Today’s Program: Jim Hunt, Returning GSE team from India (Dilley)

Happy Birthday: Rotarians around the globe.

Next Week: Jody Fritz Classification (Shumway)

Last Meeting:

Jim Thompson said agri-genomics is providing farmers with a new generation of tools to help accelerate the search for better plants and more productive animals.

“There is a huge potential in crops and animals that hasn’t been tapped yet,” he said, “because we don’t understand the underlying genetics.”

But that will be different with the new technology and genomic research. For instance, Jim said bead chip technology is dramatically changing the dynamics of cattle breeding, offering an inexpensive and faster alternative to progeny testing. Jim calls it “a lab on a chip.” For less than $200, it reveals the genetic merit in a cow and helps identify those worthy of investment.

Jim declared farming a business and said there is a lot of money driving people to find better animals and better crops.

Improved farming practices have done wonders to increase production and grow more food. Genomics is the next wave of innovation that will take agriculture to new heights, he predicted.

Distribution of the food we grow remains an impediment to eliminating hunger. He said we have an obligation to use genetic engineering to create sustainable food production in regions where food now cannot be grown.

Guests: Roberto and Luisa (Taylor)

Scholarship Enhancement: David Wolf


Laurie Williams, chair of the President’s Council, is still wondering “what’s the big idea?” She is inviting proposals for two major Rotary initiatives, one local and one international. Be creative and think big. The local project could be in the $30,000 to $300,000 range; the international project, $50,000 to $500,000. The deadline is November 1.

Two club socials are planned for the coming months, one for Friday, Oct. 23, with Blues legend Bernard Allison performing after the social (6 to 7:30 p.m.), and another on Saturday, Jan. 2. Mark your calendars.

Three Carleton College film students nvited Rotarians to be extras in a short film they are shooting at St. Olaf College on Sunday, Oct. 18. If you want to be in pictures, contact Megan Hafner at for more information.

Vicky Dilley is looking for help interviewing prospective outbound exchange students on Monday, Oct. 26. If you can help, talk to her.

Scott Richardson reported that Sofie Jokela is settling into her exchange experience near Milan, Italy and learning the language. Be sure to read Rachel Stets’s blog. She is very grateful for the opportunity Rotary has afforded her.

Outbound student blogs. Keep in touch.

Coming Up:

Oct. 22 – TORCH – Tackling Obstacles & Raising College Hopes, Zach Pruitt (Crow).

Welcome New Member – Matt Hillman, Northfield Public Schools