Adrian Percy

Celebrating Nature’s Gifts and Human Hands

There is perhaps no season that gets to me like autumn. It’s a time when it seems that nature itself is preparing for a much-needed rest before the onset of winter. For those in agriculture, fall is spent collecting the fruits of the harvest and celebrating a hard-earned victory that comes from coaxing a crop through endless adversity. While autumn is well underway in the northern hemisphere, our friends in the south are fully gearing up to repeat this process in their spring season. And the cycle continues.

Last week, my family, our friends and I celebrated Thanksgiving in the United States, and I know similar festivities occur in many other countries around the globe. It’s important to acknowledge the effort that our farmers and customers make every day, which enables most of us to concentrate on other jobs without worrying about whether there will be enough food on our tables. In expressing our thanks to the hands that till the soil and produce our food, we should also remember that that there are far too many people who do not share in this bounty. And that is why our work at Bayer is so important.

As someone who has spent his career in research and development, I am keenly aware of the challenges we face and yet completely excited about the future of innovation in agriculture. From opportunities in plant breeding and crop protection, to new investments in soil health and digital farming, we are truly standing at the threshold of a new revolution in agriculture. I believe this will be a worthy successor to the Green Revolution of the 1950-60s that is most often attributed to Norman Borlaug. With our focus on open innovation and collaboration, there is nothing we cannot achieve if we marshal our combined resources and put our collective creativity to work.

Adrian Percy
Adrian Percy
Adrian Percy,
Ag Technology Ambassador

Even though innovation is the only pathway to sustainable farming, we know that technology alone will not solve the many issues facing modern agriculture. I’ve talked often about how the loss of trust among producers and consumers diminishes our ability to cope with evolving pests, limited natural resources, volatile markets, shifting consumer preferences and a changing climate. It’s clear that we can’t “science our way” through this impasse until we come to terms with the strong feelings that separate and divide us. That begins and ends with honest communication. I’m proud of our efforts to be more transparent and I’m thankful for the countless volunteers in our industry who are willing to reach out to the public and provide a human face and voice to discuss the vital work that we do.

When I look back over my career, I am humbled by the quality of people in our industry and dedication of the hundreds of colleagues with whom I’ve had the pleasure of interacting, and I am grateful for the times I’ve shared with so many people, who have not only influenced me, but have also helped shape a new trajectory for agriculture’s future. Much like our farmers and customers, they haven’t shied away from the challenges facing us, nor let them distract us from our mission of feeding a hungry world.

As we prepare for the coming winter weather, let’s not forget to take time to reflect on the joys that this season has to offer. As the French philosopher Albert Camus wisely noted, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” So, each of us should take a moment to enjoy the abundance that nature has set before us and acknowledge the human hands that made it happen.

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Thriving for Change - Championing Agriculture for a New Generation