(Posted Wed. Jun 6th, 2018)
When a group of scientists, academics, and processing engineers get together for a technical conference to discuss the latest in corn uses and corn processing you don’t expect a big discussion on communications and public relations to break out. But that’s exactly what happened during the opening session of the 2018 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference in St. Louis.
It seems the growing communication challenge between the public and farmers is also being felt in the scientific and technical communities. Those attending CUTC’s general session concurred that there is a compelling need to develop techniques and messages that help bridge between how consumers “feel” and what they need to “know.”
Since 1987, CUTC has brought together leading innovators in the corn industry. The biennial conference provides a venue that allows scientific exchange and engaging discussions for researchers, farmers and other industry leaders.
“CUTC provides a great opportunity for attendees to interact with key stakeholders throughout the supply chain, sharing each other’s needs, priorities and successes,” said NCGA Market Development Director Jim Bauman. “A lot of planning goes into providing high-quality sessions around the topics of production, processing and utilization. But it’s often the unplanned, free-flowing conversations, such as the discussion on the need for additional consumer outreach, which encourages many of CUTC’s attendees to return year after year.”
Bauman said, “scientific advancements in agriculture possess the ability to provide a solution to many current and projected future social issues. However, if consumer’s understanding and comfort with modern science doesn’t increase, it will slow or even prevent the implementation of new technology designed to sustainably increase the production, processing and utilization of U.S. corn.”