The Challenge of Tomorrow
On Thursday night at the fourth general session the president of Monsanto, Hugh Grant, spoke to FFA members of the challenges that face American agriculture today and that will only get more difficult as we approach tomorrow. Among these challenges he listed food, water, climate change, and hunger; and that agriculture is a big piece of the solution. Grant told members that we need leaders in agriculture now more than ever. “Agriculture is one of the oldest industries in the world,” Grant said, “and today it’s one of the coolest.” FFA members couldn’t agree more!
Grant informed members that we will have to produce more with less, starting with land. In 1850 there was a half acre for every person in the world; today we are down to a quarter of an acre. He also said that we will have to “squeeze more crop out of every drop” of water. And with these constantly decreasing resources we must produce as much food in the next 50 years as we have over the past 10,000.
With 98 percent of the country who do not live on farms, and 2% who do live on farms the country tends to forget how much they depend on farming for our growth. Grant continued, “People don’t even have to think about where food comes from, it’s just there.” For this reason, he said “we need to tell the amazing story of agriculture.”
Facebook was one of his suggestions to do this. Grant believes that by using Facebook, that the 2 percent who do live on farms can share the promise, story, and power of agriculture with the much larger 98 percent who do not.
Of the challenge he presented, Grant asked, “How do we do it?” His answer? “We do it loud!” Grant closed with this motivational and yet bold statement, “More and more the world is counting on you and the decision you will make.”
FFA members: What decision will you make?
~Kelsey Ross, National FFA Convention newsroom staff