Cyndi's Two Cents

Science is cool.

 

I know, those of us in agriculture have been telling people this for years, but something happened last month that signaled the beginning of a movement in support of science.  On a day set aside to celebrate our environment, thousands of people from around the world came together in 600 cities to march in support science.  The March for Science represents a coalition of individuals and organizations that believe science is critical in many aspects of our lives and the lives of all people.  The March for Science believes science is critical to our health, economies, food security and safety:

“We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely.  Staying silent is a luxury that we can no longer afford.  We must stand together and support science.”

As is the case with any cause, people will unify and rally or march, go home after with great plans to commit time and effort in support of the cause – until the excitement wears off and life gets busy.  I hope the fire continues to burn in the hearts of those who participated in the march as well as those who were enlightened by it.  I hope people in their own communities will find ways to celebrate science.

Stop for a minute and consider all of the agricultural technologies that are valuable to farmers who use them and to the food security of a world population.  Drought-resistant crop varieties and seed traits to protect against a wide variety of insects and diseases for example.  The very crops we grow on our farms today have been bred over the past ten thousand years to become what they are today.  Wheat as we know it today is a result of years of selection for mutations and the crossing of various species of wild grass.

I know there are a lot of people in this world filled with disdain for the large agricultural corporations they call “Big Ag.”  Like them or not, it is the billions of dollars they have invested in research and development over time that have given many of us the tools we use on our farms every day to grow the crops that feed the world and provide the income to feed our families.

We have precision technologies today that allow us to place the right inputs in exactly the right amount and the right time in exactly the right place.  This saves us time and resources while improving yields.

Science, technology, engineering and math are critical to innovation.  The STEM initiative, started several years ago to promote the much-needed skills to empower students with a solid education in these subjects, has grown in popularity and continues to gain traction.  It is my hope that you are all great supporters of this program in your local schools.

Science is cool.  That statement should be on a bumper sticker.

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