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.”
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.