RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Crop Science, a division of Bayer, is pleased to announce that five millennials in agriculture have been selected to represent the U.S. at the third Youth Ag-Summit, to take place in Brussels, Belgium, from October 9-13, 2017. The young leaders are part of a delegation of 100 people from 49 countries selected to participate in a week-long think-tank focused on identifying innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to address global food security challenges.
Themed "Feeding a Hungry Planet," this year's summit aims to address the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals of ending hunger, achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture. This year's summit will be the third that Bayer has offered to young people around the world, and represents a long-standing history of support for the next generation of leaders and innovators.
"The agricultural industry can contribute strongly to achieving some of the key U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, but this also requires the active involvement of the next generation. The Youth Ag-Summit aims to give young leaders the opportunity to foster their ideas, share best practices and explore the role of modern agriculture in feeding a hungry planet," said Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and head of the Crop Science Division.
The five young delegates representing the U.S. are:
- Anna Gomes, age 20 from Ferndale, California, is an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis studying agriculture and environmental education with an emphasis in plant and soil science. She is a National FFA alum, has held internships with the Climate Institute in Washington, D.C., and participated in study abroad programs taking her everywhere from London to Paris. All of these experiences have ultimately solidified her passion for plants. During high school she started an agricultural business, Anna's Herbs, growing and marketing herbs and flowers to local consumers through farmers markets. Trading labor for greenhouse space, she worked for a local farmer and learned the basics of farming, marketing and nurturing young crops. All this has led to her current activities, which include a biology lab assistant, serving as a research intern for the UC Davis Water Management Lab, and the SCOPE Project, a plant breeding for organic systems initiative. Upon graduation in 2018, she will focus on researching climate change and its impact on food production.
- Ben Carson, age 20 from Plant City, Florida, found early inspiration through his upbringing in the thriving farming region of Central Florida. Although citrus production used to be one of Florida's largest economic drivers, the citrus industry has been greatly impacted by citrus greening. This exposure helped foster an early interest in agriculture and the belief in the importance of growing nutritious food for thriving communities. During high school, he furthered that interest by spending his spring breaks in Brazilian favelas working with impoverished, food insecure children. Today, he is a finance and marketing major at Samford University. After graduation, he hopes to provide management consulting services to agricultural businesses to boost economic development around the country.
- Emily Buck, age 24 from Gallatin, Tennessee, has devoted her career to agricultural policy. Buck grew up on a 400-acre family farm, participated in 4-H and FFA, and later earned a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee, a background that fostered her passion for agriculture. She currently works for the House of Representatives as a congressional staffer for Diane Black, where she guides policy on agricultural issues. As someone who lives with Crohn's disease, Emily knows what it's like to go long periods without food. The resulting difficulty with studying and maintaining a job during those times has given her a personal glimpse into one dimension of what it's like to be profoundly hungry. This has inspired her quest to find solutions for others by helping to foster a policy environment in which agriculture can flourish.
- Julie Greenwald, age 21, from Boston, Massachusetts, is pursuing a double major in environmental studies and cultural studies, with a minor in peace and justice from Villanova University. The young scholar has earned a 3.94 GPA, was on the Dean's list for three consecutive terms and has raised more than $23,000 for the university. Beyond these accomplishments, Greenwald spent five weeks living and working on organic farms in three Belgian cities this past summer. Her agricultural career aspirations are guided by her belief that food security is a basic human right. Field experience at home and abroad, coursework and her personal research have all inspired her to roll-up her sleeves alongside her peers to discover solutions to one of the most complex problems of our time.
- Noah Hamlish, age 22 from Chicago, Illinois, is a Thomas J. Watson Fellow researching aquaculture practices in Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand, Chile, Norway and Scotland. He received a B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Wesleyan University. There he was an elected member of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and recipient of the Scott Biomedical Prize and William Firshein Prize in molecular biology for research completed during his senior year. He also held an undergraduate research fellowship at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and an internship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he cultivated a passion for understanding the foundations for healthy aquatic environments.He hopes to combine his scientific background with his recent experiences on fish farms to promote new perspectives on aquaculture in his community. In the future, he would like to direct food science research that benefits sustainable, socially conscious urban farming and food production initiatives through studying more efficient biological systems.
The chosen delegates – who all share a passion for agriculture and a vision of a world without hunger – will undertake group projects and participate in industry tours, as well as learn from expert guest speakers. Their mission is to come up with concrete new ideas that can drive agricultural progress across the globe and be put into practice back home.
To be considered for participation, delegates were required to submit essays on the topic of food insecurity, factoring in the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals. A total of 1,187 essays from 95 different countries were submitted, all of which were reviewed by a panel of industry experts, including six U.S. judges representing national youth leadership organizations such as the FFA and 4-H, academia, a former Youth Ag-Summit delegate and Bayer.
The 100 delegates attending this year's summit hail from the following 49 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Bayer is committed to bringing new technology and solutions for agriculture and non-agricultural uses. For questions concerning the availability and use of products, contact a local Bayer representative, or visit Crop Science, a division of Bayer, online at www.cropscience.bayer.us.
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Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.
About the Youth Ag-Summit
The Youth Ag-Summit is a global bi-annual conference designed to inspire and connect the next generation of young leaders in agriculture and related disciplines. In 2017, 100 young leaders aged 18 to 25 will meet in Brussels, Belgium, to create an open dialogue on one of the world's most challenging questions: how to feed a hungry planet? Following previous editions hosted in Canada and Australia, this year's Summit is the first to be held in a European city. The Youth Ag-Summit is part of Bayer's Agricultural Education Program which aims to raise global awareness about farming and food supplies. Find out more about the Program at www.ag-education.bayer.com, https://www.facebook.com/BayerAgEdu/, or on Twitter @BayerAgEdu.
About Groene Kring
Groene Kring (GK) is an association for young farmers in Flanders, Belgium, which counts around 3,500 members. GK brings young farmers together via regular activities and events, organizes entrepreneurship education, and protects the interests of young farmers on a regional, national and international level. For more information, visit: www.groenekring.be
About the Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs
La Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA) represents young farmers living and working in Wallonia, Belgium. FJA represents the views of 2,800 members, advocating on their behalf at a national and European level. As an official education provider within the agriculatural sector, they also organize training courses. For more information, visit www.fja.be
Find more information at www.cropscience.bayer.us.
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