Adrian Percy

Agriculture Is Always in Season

At almost any time of the year you can be certain that someone – somewhere – will be celebrating a holiday. After all, we live in a world that encompasses many different customs and rich traditions. In spite of these differences and varied experiences, the centerpiece of any celebration almost always revolves around the meals we share with our family and friends. In a very real sense, agriculture is what binds us together, because agriculture is always in season.

This time of year is not only important because it’s a major holiday season, but also because it brings the year to a close and ushers in a new one. For many of us, the approach of a new year is a time to be more reflective about our work and our lives, which seems to mesh perfectly with the spirit of the holidays. Regardless of the religious or family traditions we celebrate, this December is full of events that bring people together.

One of the things these diverse holidays share in common is great food. If one were to put all of the different items consumed during these various celebrations in a straight line, it undoubtedly would create the world’s largest smorgasbord! There you would find almost every type of meat prepared in every possible way and complimented by a wide variety of seasonal nuts, fruits and vegetables. Add to that list of food the incredible assortment of drinks and desserts and it’s enough to make me double-down on my normal exercise routine!

Of course, none of this would be possible without the world’s farming community. Most of us are blessed with an abundance of healthy and nutritious food that comes from the labor of farmers, who must constantly contend with pests, weather, resources, and financial constraints to produce and harvest a successful crop. During our time of celebration, we should all take a moment to remember the important work they do and rededicate ourselves to helping them be more successful in 2018.

Adrian Percy
Adrian Percy
Adrian Percy
is the Global Head of Research and Development for Crop Science, a Division of Bayer.

Unfortunately, despite agriculture’s incredible productivity, not everyone is able to share in its bounty. In its 2017 report, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations notes that after steadily declining for more than a decade, world hunger is on the rise. In the last year, the number of undernourished people increased from 777 million to 815 million, representing about 11 percent of the global population. And hunger is a problem that knows no borders. Bayer recently teamed up with country music star, Luke Bryan, by donating more than one million meals to hungry families across America through their #HerestotheFarmer campaign.

Clearly there is much work yet to be done. That’s why I’m thankful for Bayer’s effort to increase the viability of smallholder farmers, who form the engine of growth and prosperity in many rural communities. Collectively, smallholder farms produce about 70 percent of the food that is consumed globally, so working with them makes good business sense, too.

Regardless of whether it comes from one hectare or a thousand, I think the great thing about agriculture is that it makes our world feel a little bit smaller. Those of us in agriculture are fortunate to work in an industry that understands what it takes to bring food to our table. So while our preferences may range from fowl to fillet, grape to grain, or leaf to legume, we can all be proud of the role we play in support of agriculture.

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is nearly behind us and many opportunities await us in 2018. Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope that you will take a moment to spend some well-earned time with family and friends and enjoy a meal together. After all, agriculture is always in season.

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