To honor the hundreds of growers who pledged to produce more at a higher quality as part of a Bayer CropScience initiative called I Farm to Feed the World, Bayer CropScience donated $6,680 to four local food banks across the Midwest. The donations kick off the program that works to decrease hunger in the face of a growing worldwide population.
At the 2010 Farm Progress Show, Aug. 31 – Sept. 2, Bayer CropScience asked U.S. farmers to join the effort of I Farm to Feed the World by pledging to increase yields and improve crop quality while minimizing their environmental impact. From farmers across the country and around the globe, 1,336 commitment signatures were collected for the effort. For every signature collected, Bayer CropScience donated $5 to local Feeding America food banks.
"At Bayer CropScience, we strive to help growers meet the ever-increasing demand for affordable and high quality food, feed and fiber," says Bill Buckner, President and CEO of Bayer CropScience. "As we continue to develop crop solutions that help U.S. producers boost their yields, the donations to local food banks fight hunger right here, right now."
Bayer CropScience split the total donation among four food banks that cover regions representative of the farmers who pledged at Farm Progress Show: Food Bank of Iowa, Central Illinois Foodbank, The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri and Second Harvest Heartland covering southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. All together the four food banks service 450,000 people through their partner agencies.
"The donation from Bayer CropScience helps us facilitate the flow of food to the hungry, including children, seniors and the working poor," says Carey Miller, Executive Director, Food Bank of Iowa. "In the Food Bank of Iowa's network of partner agencies alone, more than 76,100 people receive emergency food each year. The attention to an issue as important and big as hunger speaks of the company's commitment to a better tomorrow."
The I Farm to Feed the World initiative does not end with the food bank donations, reminds Buckner. "Bayer CropScience is committed to the challenge through on-going initiatives in innovation, sustainability and education," he says.
For the 2011 season, Bayer will bring new products that can help increase yields to the market, including Stratego YLD fungicide and Poncho/VOTiVOTM seed treatment on corn and soybeans, and Capreno herbicide for corn. The company is engaged in sustainability programs like Winter Cereals: Sustainability in Action, designed to improve and promote better cropping systems for the environment and farmers' profitability, and Respect the Rotation, an industry initiative designed to preserve agriculture technology and prevent weed resistance in key crops. And commitments to education, such as annual support of FFA and the new GRAD scholarship and internship program, serve to inspire and train the next generation of scientists and agriculturalists.
"We're pleased with the number of growers who showed their commitment to increase yields and decrease hunger," says Buckner. "All these commitments have an integral role as we look to the task before us, as an industry, to provide safe and affordable food to a growing world population."