The 2016 AgVocacy Forum, sponsored by Bayer is underway in New Orleans today. Representatives from agriculture and consumer media are hearing from thought leaders in science, nutrition and sustainable food production at the invitation-only event. AgNet West News Director Sabrina Hill is at the event, and talks with Rob Schrick, Bayer CropScience horticulture manager.
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Formerly Ag Issues Forum, AgVocacy Forum continues a decade-long tradition of bringing together a diverse mix of people, experience and opinions to exchange ideas and philosophies that help shape and influence modern agriculture. This year’s event will shine a spotlight on how being an “AgVocate” may help bridge the growing divide between consumers and those involved in food production.
“There are many challenges facing today’s food producer and perhaps none more important than building trust with consumers,” said David Hollinrake, vice president, marketing & portfolio management, Bayer. “We assembled experts at AgVocacy Forum to spark dialogue and bring focus to the steps needed to educate and engage a public that is increasingly detached from modern agriculture.”
Award-winning author and registered dietitian, Carolyn O’Neil, will help kick off the Forum with a keynote address to share her insights on consumer preferences driving food trends. The program will also feature 12-year-old Braeden Mannering who, while attending the “Kids’ State Dinner” at the White House, was challenged by First Lady Michelle Obama to “pay his experience forward.” Braeden’s response was to create Brae’s Brown Bags, which battles food insecurity by providing healthy snacks to homeless and low-income individuals.
Additional guest speakers include:
- Kavin Senapathy, author of The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari’s Glass House and regular contributor for Forbes.com
- Dan Dye, CEO of Ardent Mills, a joint venture among Cargill, ConAgra Foods and CHS
- Josiah Zayner, CEO of The ODIN and former NASA bioscientist
- Charles Baron, co-founder and vice president of Farmers Business Network, a crowd-sourced program for data-driven agriculture
AgVocacy Forum will be moderated by Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University and a former CNN correspondent, anchor and Washington D.C. Bureau Chief.
In conjunction with the event, the Bayer Foundation is making a $10,000 donation to the Orleans Parish 4-H chapter and will work with the chapter to install a Feed a Bee pollinator garden at Ben Franklin Elementary.