American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) President and CEO Andrew LaVigne joined more than 60 young farmers, policymakers and industry thought-leaders from across the nation for the FarmNext Summit in Washington, D.C.
The diverse, multi-generational Summit focused on the future of farming and the involvement of young people within the industry.
“The seed industry is passionate about reaching out to the next generation of ag innovators,” said LaVigne. “As seed professionals, innovation is at the heart of what we do. It’s critical that we continue to build upon the progress of the generations of hard-working agriculture professionals who have come before us, to build a stronger future for tomorrow.”
FarmNext is seeking to explore the perspectives of Millennials entering today’s agriculture industry in an effort to better understand the trends shaping the future of the industry. A White Paper released at the Summit summarizes key findings from the group’s first-ever listening tour which took place in the summer and fall of 2015. During the tour, young farmers and agriculture students were asked about their views on a number of key topics, including the public’s perception of agriculture, technology and innovation within the industry, the economic outlook for careers in agriculture, opportunities for workforce development, environmental issues, and more. Based on these discussions, it’s clear that the next generation of food producers faces unprecedented economic, social, and technological challenges; yet they are also uniquely prepared to address them.
“As an industry, we are constantly progressing and bringing new ideas and innovations to the marketplace to help address many of the challenges facing our world today. From environmental issues, to food security, and health and wellness—it starts with a seed. I’m confident that the next generation of agriculture professionals is uniquely positioned and ready to face these challenges. ASTA is proud to be a part of the FarmNext movement to help amplify the voices of these young people embarking on critical careers in agriculture.”
Sponsored by ASTA, CHS, INC., DuPont Pioneer, FarmLink and Kit Bond Strategies, FarmNext was launched in 2015 to help elevate the voice of young farmers on a national scale at a time when farming, technology, and the source of our food is increasingly in the spotlight. The group is a joint initiative between YI Advisors and Global Prairie. To learn more, visit: www.farmnextgeneration.org/.