Why You Should Care About Ag – The Innovation Imperative

Monday, October 19, 2015
Ag Literacy Week 2015 - October 19-23

By: Casey Allen, External Communications

 

Let me throw some numbers at you…

 

By 2050:
  • Earth’s population will surpass 9 billion
  • Global food demand will increase 60 percent
  • Protein consumption will increase 70 percent

 

But the good news is:
  • In 1950, the average farmer fed 27 people – today the average farmer feeds more than 155 people
  • The number of farm acres per person worldwide is half of what it was 50 years ago

 

Think about this for a moment – today we have fewer farmers producing more food on less land than ever before.  How is that even possible?  The reason for modern agriculture’s success can be explained in one word – innovation.  

 

Despite the amazing advancements of modern agriculture, some question the very innovations that have helped make food more abundant and affordable, which is understandable in a society that is largely divorced from farming.  It doesn’t help that agricultural productivity is not a particularly “sexy” topic that can be simply explained to a public growing more accustomed to sound-bite messages, and emotionally-charged opinions often trump dry scientific explanations.

 

But there is more at stake than just winning arguments. A poor perception of agriculture can drive bad policy decisions that hinder the breakthrough technologies we need to feed a hungry world.  

 

An increased public understanding of agriculture goes hand-in-hand with developing the next generation of expertise to push the limits of our food production beyond what we have accomplished today.  What we’re really talking about is an Innovation Imperative.  Our planet’s resources are not infinite and it will take human creativity and technology to ensure our food supply remains safe, affordable and sustainable for future generations.

 

That’s why this week we’re celebrating Ag Literacy Week. At multiple Bayer sites across the U.S., we’re engaging with community stakeholders to raise the awareness of the need for a society that’s more connected to agriculture and modern food production. Using programs like Making Science Make Sense, passionate Bayer volunteers will work hands-on with students to help them understand the importance of STEM education and the need for technological innovation in Agriculture. We want to inspire the next generation of engineers, biologists, geneticists, chemists and more to engage with agriculture. It’s the one industry that directly affects us all, and according to the USDA, one that needs bright young minds the most.

 

MSMS Experiment

MSMS alka rockets

Students from Illinois Make Science Make Sense with a cornstarch quicksand experiment and alka-rockets

 

So that’s why you should care—innovation is imperative. And that’s what the Bayer Ag Literacy Week is all about—engaging with the public and educating the next generation of problem solvers.

 

Stay tuned the rest of the week as we highlight the people, programs and places that are fueling Ag Literacy Week. Follow along on Twitter using #AgLiteracyWeek!

 

 

 

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