The two-day CropLife North America Conference wrapped up yesterday in Charlotte. Adrian Percy, VP for group development North America for Bayer CropScience US:
“The conference is called the Crop World North America, and it’s really a conference to bring together professionals in the crop protection business from across North America…there were also folks, that came in from other parts of the world ready to discuss a lot of issues that our industry is facing at the current time.”
Percy outlines the agenda of the conference:
“Well there were a number that mentioned sustainability, we’re really working very hard as an industry as to how we can contribute to sustainable agriculture moving forward. There is a lot of discussion, of course, around the effects of agriculture on the environment and how we can work together as an industry, to make sure that while we’re meeting some of these immediate needs of a growing population, more so preserving the environment for future generations. That’s one of the topics.
Another topic that I’m very passionate about is really making sure that we have a qualified workforce in the future in the agricultural sector. And there is a lot of evidence that there are deficits, particularly in the scientific areas of individuals that we really need to optimize the full potential of our industry.”
As a keynote speaker of the conference, Percy, and some of his collegues covered a wide range of topics:
“I was talking about how we need to recruit and train and retain the next generation of leaders within agriculture. I’m particularly, obviously, very interested in the crop protection part of the business. I was a part of a panel, that was really a very diverse panel, that was designed to give very different perspectives, so there was myself and another industry representatives from one of my competitor companies, BASF, there was a representative from academia, so we had professor Jim Moyer from NC State, he’s professor of crop pathology, and also we had a youth, ag youth organization, the FFA represented, because I think they can also be a very key part in making sure that we’re enticing in bringing kids into ag, getting them excited about agriculture, teaching them the importance of ag science, and hopefully inspiring them to go to college and eventually become part of the work force in the ag sector.”
We’ll talk further with Adrian Percy on getting youth involved in agriculture tomorrow, on Inside Agriculture.