In a community-wide effort to support the future of agriculture and to help solve the world’s most pressing food issues, Bayer CropScience is celebrating Agriculture Literacy Week Oct. 19-23. Bayer CropScience sites across the country will engage with local communities to provide hands on learning opportunities for students and stakeholders. The company seeks to increase the public awareness to the power of modern agriculture and the critical role technology will play in food production to help meet the needs of a growing population.

Societal and environmental changes within the next 30 years will severely test our ability to produce enough food to satisfy a growing world population. During this time, global food demand is expected to increase 60 percent and we must meet this demand using the same or fewer arable acres that we have today, and in the face of a shrinking water supply, evolving pest pressures and a changing climate. Innovation in agriculture is imperative but innovation can only be achieved with an agriculturally literate population that is enthusiastic about developing solutions that can address future food challenges.

“Bayer is committed to improving agricultural literacy among students and the general public for two very important reasons,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP. “There is a disconnect between non-agriculture audiences and modern agricultural production that often leads to an unnecessary misunderstanding of our industry and farming practices. There is also a shortage of young talent needed to fill agriculture jobs, particularly in STEM fields, that will create the innovation necessary to feed the more than 9 billion people that will inhabit our planet by 2050.”

Bayer CropScience sites in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; West Sacramento, California; Kansas City, Missouri; and Lubbock, Texas, will host a series of Agriculture Literacy Week events focused on public outreach and student engagement. Bayer CropScience employees will participate in agriculture-focused community service activities, engage in Making Science Make Sense events at local schools, participate in community events that promote STEM education and more. All activities will serve to highlight the importance of agriculture literacy by showcasing where our food comes from, the technology that enhances modern agricultural production, the vast availability of STEM careers in agriculture, and telling the innovative story of modern agriculture.

“It is important that people know where their food comes from and how it is produced, because the agriculture supply challenges we’re facing cannot be solved without new technology and increased engagement in our industry,” said Blome. “The future of agriculture looks most promising when young minds develop a passion for STEM, agriculture and innovation that will make a tangible difference in solving the world’s most pressing food issues.”