Committed to developing the next generation of thinkers and leaders in modern agriculture as part of its mission of “Science For A Better Life,” the Crop Science division of Bayer has announced increased support of the National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame, commonly known as the Ag Center, through a $150,000 Bayer USA Foundation grant. This three-year grant will help create a new children’s exhibit within the Ag Center’s Children’s Agriculture Science Center. The new exhibit is set to open in 2018.

Located in Bonner Springs, Kansas, the mission of the Ag Center is to educate people on the historical and present value of American agriculture and to honor the leadership in agribusiness and academia. Created by a rare federal charter signed in 1960 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Ag Center is largely funded by private and corporate donations, and Bayer is one of the museum’s main supporters.

“We are so thankful to Bayer for its generous support of the Ag Center through this grant from the Bayer USA Foundation,” said Dawn Gabel, executive director of the National Agriculture Center & Hall of Fame. “It is exciting to imagine that a child who will visit this future exhibit could one day become an inductee into our very own Hall of Fame thanks in part to what they learned here about agriculture.”

Through this new children’s exhibit, as well as other educational initiatives like Making Science Make Sense – a program advancing science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning – Bayer seeks to inspire students of all ages to learn more about what makes agriculture not only exciting, but also essential to the future of our planet.

Over 900 million people in the world suffer from chronic hunger. When the global population reaches 9 billion by 2050, that number will increase drastically unless farmers can produce at least twice as much food as they do today – all while using less water and less land in the face of a changing global climate. To meet the food demands of the future, Bayer is leading efforts to make agriculture better, faster and more efficient by providing farmers with cutting-edge agricultural innovations.

These efforts require more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) knowledge than ever before to cultivate safe, healthy crops that will feed the world. High-quality STEM education is necessary to fill the nearly 58,000 jobs open each year in the agriculture industry, and Bayer is committed to supporting programs that instill a lifelong love of STEM in students at an early age.

“The National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame is truly one of our country’s greatest treasures, and Bayer is proud to support its mission as part of our own efforts to inspire the next generation of leaders in the agriculture industry,” said Paul Nagy, site leader for Kansas City Bayer Crop Science. “In all of our local communities, it is essential that programs and initiatives like this exhibit are available to support parents, teachers and other leaders in providing these sorts of educational opportunities for students of all ages.”