Bayer’s Inspiration: Agvocate for Ag

Ag Agvocacy: One Small Pebble Can Cause a Ripple Effect of Change

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Deputy Editor

 

At the March 2016 AgVocacy Forum in New Orleans, Rob Schrick, strategic business management lead – horticulture at Bayer CropScience, noted we should n3B Brae's Brown Bagsever give up trying to AgVocate on behalf of the agricultural industry. “It goes back to the pebble and the ripple, which is what Braedon Mannering, founder of Brae’s Brown Bags talked about; you know, little things can matter,” Schrick said.

Braeden Quinn Mannering is an amazing 12-year-old from Bear, Delaware, who founded the nonprofit, 3B Brae’s Brown Bags (3B), to provide healthy food and other items to homeless and low-income people in his community. Mannering’s ongoing mission is not only to feed people today, but also to raise awareness about the problems of food insecurity and poverty and to empower and inspire youth across the nation to become part of the solution

AgVocacy and Credibility

“The event was the fourth year running of what was the Ag Issues Forum,” Schrick said. “It is a forum that we put on just in front of Commodity Classic because Ag media is there, market influencers are there. So how can we get them together to talk about the issues relating to agriculture? That was a great theme four years ago, but now as the millennial generation is coming onboard [amidst] so much misinformation about production agriculture, we have re-coined this the AgVocacy Forum. What that comes down to is how do we tell our story about agriculture?”

AgVocacy Forum logo“One of the most interesting things we saw at the meeting,” Schrick noted, “was that we are influenced by people all around us, doctors, lawyers, and our pastors. However in agriculture, the number one influencer is the grower. That really resonated with me and it is true; he is the most credible source, he is the one who produces that food, and he has to make that land he is working on sustainable. He has to make that production come, year after year, after year, and in most cases, he wants to turn that over to the next generation of farmers.

Schrick expanded on the grower, “I think because they are at the point-source, their livelihood depends on it, and they have to get more out of that land and make it more fertile each following year, who is better stewarding that land? And because of that, who is the most credible source?” he asked. “You know, I would love for [the credible source] to be a company—like Bayer; we are very proud of ourselves. Or you could talk to a consumer, [but the story] is going to have a bent to it. But when a grower is talking about production agriculture, that is pretty credible,” he said. 

Food Chain Partnership

“At Bayer, our customer is the grower,” Schrick commented, “and we have to meet the needs of that grower. Well that grower is producing a crop and he has a customer, which is the food chain. These retailers, these food processing companies that are buying his product, are putting requirements on that grower. We have a food chain position on our team and a Food Chain Partnership coalition within our company, whose number one job is to understand what these food processors will require the grower. We understand that; we can help the grower meet those challenges; that is what our food chain partnership is all about.

Anticipating Future Agricultural Needs

Bayer CropScience's West Sacramento facility
Bayer CropScience’s West Sacramento facility (Source: Bayer CropScience)

“We have just recently expanded the greenhouse facilities at our integrated West Sacramento Biologics and Vegetables Seeds site. Bayer is an innovation company; our job is to look into the future and ask, ‘What will be the needs of growers ten years from now?’ Part of that is going to be a reduction in residues, and one of the ways to meet that need is through biologics. That is where we are making our investment. In 2012, we purchased AgraQuest, one of several biologics investments we made, not necessarily for the portfolio they had—which was a wonderful portfoliobut for that scientific know-how and the discovery engine that we have created for biologics.”

“We have got to come up with the next generation of crop protection products that can meet lower residue requirements. And as Bayer is Science for a Better Life, we are going to inject science into this and come up with a new portfolio of crop protection products that will meet the needs of the new generation.”

It all goes back to the pebble and the ripple effect.

Bayer AgVocacy Forum Connects Public with Food Production

Bayer Advocacy Forum Narrows Gap Between Public and Food Production

Food system, science and agriculture experts gather to discuss the convergence of food and the future of agriculture

NEW ORLEANS, La.  Advancing the conversation about the best ways to sustainably feed a growing population is the overarching theme for the 2016 AgVocacy Forum, sponsored by Bayer CropScience. Representatives from agriculture and consumer media will hear from thought leaders in science, nutrition and sustainable food production at the invitation-only event TODAY.

David Hollinrake, vice president, marketing & portfolio management, Bayer
David Hollinrake, vice president, marketing & portfolio management, Bayer

Formerly “Ag Issues Forum,” AgVocacy Forum continues a decade-long tradition of bringing together a diverse mix of people, experience and opinions to exchange ideas and philosophies that help shape and influence modern agriculture. This year’s event shines a spotlight on how being an “AgVocate” may help bridge the growing divide between consumers and those involved in food production.

“There are many challenges facing today’s food producer and perhaps none more important than building trust with consumers,” said David Hollinrake, vice president, marketing & portfolio management, Bayer. “We assembled experts at AgVocacy Forum to spark dialogue and bring focus to the steps needed to educate and engage a public that is increasingly detached from modern agriculture.”

Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RDN, former CNN correspondent
Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RDN, former CNN correspondent

Award-winning author and registered dietician, Carolyn O’Neil, kicked off the Forum last night with a keynote address sharing her insights on consumer preferences driving food trends. The program also featured 12-year-old Braeden Mannering who, while attending the “Kids’ State Dinner” at the White House, was challenged by First Lady Michelle Obama to “pay his experience forward.” Braeden’s response was to create Brae’s Brown Bags (3B), which battles food insecurity by providing healthy snacks to homeless and low-income individuals.

Braeden Mannering, founder Brae's Brown Bags (3B)
Braeden Mannering, founder Brae’s Brown Bags (3B)

Additional guest speakers include:

Kavin Senapathy, author of The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari’s Glass House and regular contributor for Forbes.com

Dan Dye, CEO of Ardent Mills, a joint venture among Cargill, ConAgra Foods and CHS

Josiah Zayner, CEO of The ODIN and former NASA bioscientist

Charles Baron, co-founder and vice president of Farmers Business Network, a crowd-sourced program for data-driven agriculture

AgVocacy Forum is being skillfully moderated by Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University and a former CNN correspondent, anchor and Washington D.C. Bureau Chief.

In conjunction with the event, the Bayer Foundation has made a $10,000 donation to the Orleans Parish 4-H chapter and will work with the chapter to install a Feed a Bee pollinator garden at Ben Franklin Elementary.

Watch a live stream of the AgVocacy Forum at www.agvocacyforum.com, and join the conversation by following @bayer4cropsus and using #AgVocate. Be sure to look for blog posts on the event at www.cropscience.bayer.us/news/blog.

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Bayer is committed to bringing new technology and solutions for agriculture and non-agricultural uses. For questions concerning the availability and use of products, contact a local Bayer representative, or visit Crop Science, a division of Bayer, online at www.CropScience.Bayer.us.

Visit the Bayer Connect – Social Hub for social media, recent news, blog posts, videos and more from Crop Science, a division of Bayer.

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Bayer: Science For A Better Life

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Bayer CropScience Will Honor a Leader in the Produce Industry

Bayer CropScience Produce Innovation Award Goes to Grower with A Great Idea

 

Bayer CropScience will honor a leader in the produce industry whose thinking, practices and use of technology enhance the role of produce in creating better lives. The Bayer CropScience Produce Innovation Award will recognize a grower whose innovative efforts improve yield and quality of a produce crop; increase accessibility of produce to a broader group of people; or increase demand for produce by expanding awareness and appreciation for the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, including tree nuts and potatoes.Bayer CropScience Produce Innovation Award

“Bayer CropScience is proud to honor a grower with this award demonstrating the power of ‘Science For A Better Life,’” said Rob Schrick, horticulture lead, Bayer CropScience. “‘Science For A Better Life’ is our mission at Bayer, and we’re excited to spotlight an innovator that deploys methods in the field, across their operations or within the supply chain to enhance the positive contribution of produce on individual lives and society overall.”

“There currently is a great deal of discussion surrounding the nation’s health, and there are many challenges regarding nutrition and produce availability among economically and culturally diverse communities. One thing is for certain: fruits and vegetables, including potatoes and tree nuts, provide crucial nutrients to positively impact health and enhance lives.”

Bayer announced the new award program during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Convention and Expo in Anaheim, California. Entries will be accepted now through January 5, and the winner will be announced during Bayer’s 10th annual Ag Issues Forum, being held February 24 – 25, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The award is open to any grower who receives a significant portion of income from the production of a crop within the citrus, grape, pome fruit/stone fruit, tree nut, vegetable or potato industry. The winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 Ag Issues Forum in Phoenix, a $10,000 grant to advance their award-winning innovation or to support a project in their local community that also increases the positive contributions of produce in people’s lives, a $2,000 gift card to the Apple Store to further efforts in business technology, and recognition as a produce innovator.

“We are looking for individuals and operations who aren’t afraid to try new things and who embrace technology to advance the industry and enhance the positive contributions of produce,” Schrick said.

Bayer CropScience aims to leave a better world, harnessing cutting-edge agricultural innovations to deliver on Bayer’s mission: Science For A Better Life. Bayer’s Horticulture group offers customized, integrated crop solutions based on high-quality vegetable seeds, effective chemical and biological crop protection, and complementary services.

Visit www.bayercropscience.us/ProduceInnovationAward for more information or to submit an application. See official rules for more details.