This week, the National Corn Growers Association brought the corn farmers perspective on American agriculture to an international group of an agronomists and soil scientists hosted by the International Fertilizer Development Center in St. Louis. Addressing participants from 10 nations, NCGA Vice President of Production and Utilization Paul Bertels and Director of Biotechnology and Economic Analysis Nathan Fields shared an overview of American agriculture focusing on production techniques, crop conditions and biotechnology as part of an effort to help participants find farming advances which might be useful in their home countries.
"NCGA helps not only farmers abroad but also those here in the United States by engaging in dialogues such as this," said Bertels. "As international agricultural leaders come to understand how modern techniques and technologies benefit our country and see the broad public acceptance of them, we foster greater acceptance internationally. These visitors come away with a clearer picture of U.S. farming that has a ripple effect, opening markets and dispelling misperceptions across the globe."
The participants included thought leaders from Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Croatia, Ethiopia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. Given the magnitude of confusion surrounding biotechnology abroad, the discussion provided an important opportunity to spread accurate, science-based information on this subject to an audience with broad influence.
"The story of biotechnology is truly amazing, and it is one that must be told if we are to meet the challenges a growing global population places upon farmers," Fields said. "When scientist such as these have an opportunity to see how biotechnology works in America, providing a valuable tool that produces a safe, abundant crop, they can act as advocates that help shape policies and perceptions. Together, we can all ensure farmers have access to the tools they need."