Bayer Forum Aims to Encourage Dialogue on Big Issues

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Communication continues to be a focus point, not only for the seed industry but also for all of agriculture. Everyone is asking: “How do we bridge the gap from farm to table?”

There’s consensus that agriculture needs more voices and more people telling their stories, and talking about the issues important to growing and raising food in rural America.

Bayer is one company that’s helping lead the dialogue and encouraging “agvocacy.” As such, it held the 4th annual AgVocacy Forum as a preface to this year’s Commodity Classic, which brought together reporters, bloggers, social influencers, farmers, innovators, entrepreneurs, representatives from non-governmental organizations and a chef.

“Farmers are the most trusted voice in agriculture,” said David Hollinrake, Bayer vice president of North America Marketing for the Crop Science division. “The best outcome from this two-day panel is [getting those in agriculture] much more interested in proactively discussing the ins and outs of production agriculture.”

The forum was moderated by former CNN investigative reporter, Frank Sesno, and honed in on a number of drivers shaping agriculture, including new laws, changing public perception and rapid technological innovation.

Some of the topics included farm labor, science and policy, food labeling and GMOs, food waste, rural infrastructure and support, as well as funding the next agricultural food revolution.

“What we have to get across to the consumer is sustainability,” said Adrian Percy, Bayer global head of research and development, and executive committee member of the Crop Science division. “[We have to explain] to people that we’ll be able to accelerate innovation, increase productivity, allow for the use of less land and be more sustainable.

“We are trying to create a movement … in engaging consumers in conversation. I don’t think we can slow down but rather, I think we need to speed this up.”

Through this effort, Bayer hopes to create an open dialogue among the various stakeholders that must work together to meet the grand challenge. Check out some of highlights on twitter using #agvocate.

Reporting live from San Antonio Texas — home to the 2017 Commodity Classic.

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