The theme at this year’s National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention and EXPO in Louisville, Ky., was #AmplifyFFA. Amidst the sea of flashy corporate displays complete with gimmicks, games and giveaways to attract young FFA students, I had to wonder what message, exactly, is FFA trying to amplify at the National Convention and EXPO?
At the convention, I spoke briefly with a Bayer CropScience employee, who assured me that I don’t need to worry about the impact of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides on our pollinator populations because Bayer has some “really intelligent people working on the problem.”
A Monsanto employee let me know, in no uncertain terms, that the Biotech Giant’s “America’s Farmers” community outreach programs are building “stronger rural communities."
But the biggest underlying message at this year’s conference was actually a question. “How will we feed 9 billion people?”
Bayer, Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta and Food, Inc. were quick to offer their solution: GMO seeds, crop protection (pesticides), and other technological solutions. Not on their list? Organic and regenerative farming methods—methods the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development say are the only way to not only feed the world, but also solve the global warming crisis.