With the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, agricultural sustainability has become a pressing issue for researchers at Bayer CropScience. In order to promote collaboration on responsible agricultural processes, for a third year, the crop science company teamed with NC State University’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Poole College of Management for Sustainability in Agriculture: A Bayer Executive Course. The three-day event, held in January at The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, N.C., focused on developing thought leadership in sustainable agriculture, and featured guest speakers from highly-respected private and academic agricultural institutions.
Executives from agricultural corporations around the country, as well as growers and agricultural association members, were invited to learn about the latest trends in resource availability, environmental regulation and climate change currently affecting North American and global agriculture. The course also emphasized collaboration between these executives and top academic minds on the development of business models that embrace sustainable agriculture and promote safe and healthy ways to ensure that the food needs of a growing world population are consistently met. Topics of discussion included “Global Drivers for Agricultural Sustainability,” “Innovation and Technology in Agriculture,” “The Corporate Value of Sustainability,” “Building Partnerships/Driving Business and Sustainability,” and more.
“This is our third year presenting this course with NC State, and the discussion resulting from this course is promising for the future of agriculture,” said Brian Hrudka, food chain manager for Bayer CropScience. “Sustainability in Agriculture: A Bayer Executive Course has allowed for the development of important conversations on agriculture, technology and business best practices that will drive farming’s future and create agricultural solutions that will resonate on a global scale.”
Executives from Walmart, MillerCoors, Land O’ Lakes, and Cotton Inc., among others, were able to gain insight from public and private agriculture professionals, including NC State professors. Each panel and informational session was designed to equip attendees with the tools necessary to address sustainability in cooperation with scientists, researchers and professors for generations to come.
“Encouraging a strong relationship between the brightest business and academic minds is absolutely imperative to increasing agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner,” said Dr. Tom Rufty, professor of crop science at NC State. “Through our collaboration with Bayer CropScience, we are able to work with executives to help each other become more responsible stewards of our resources through public discourse and technological innovation. The Bayer executive course is making great headway in providing a forum to discuss sustainable solutions to the world’s food supply concerns.”