Teaching the next generation excites me because our country and our world need well-informed scientists and citizens to create solutions to feeding the world population. These solutions need to be sustainable for the environment, efficient and affordable for the economy, and safe and nutritious for humans.
My “aha” moment occurred to me in the first ag workshop I attended at Pioneer in Iowa about 5 years ago. As an environmental science teacher, much of the typical curriculum is very anti-industrial farming. The documentaries, the textbooks, and much of the popular media demonizes GMOs, industrial farming, and other agricultural businesses. As a reasonable person and skeptical scientist, I knew logically that we couldn’t only promote local food production and purely organic farming because there is just not enough land, water, or people to make it sustainable. The answer for our planet and the human population will be found in a balance between industrial agriculture and local farming.