October 15, 2015
Des Moines, Iowa - The STEM Food and Ag Council (SFAC) - a project of STEMconnector® - announced the launch of a new initiative to increase the number of people working to feed the planet’s growing population through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The initiative, entitled Feed, Nourish, Thrive, aims to inspire the next generation of innovators in food and agricultural production.
The Council made the announcement at World Food Prize’s Borlaug Dialogue held in the Des Moines Marriott Downtown Hotel. Dr. Sherri Brown of Monsanto, SFAC Chair, presented alongside representatives from member organizations.
Feed, Nourish, Thrive addresses a critical workforce need in the food and agricultural sectors. According to a recent USDA report, only 61% of STEM food and agriculture labor demand is currently met through our schools of food, agriculture and renewable natural resources. Feed, Nourish, Thrive aims to increase awareness of study and career opportunities that exist in the field through a dynamic interactive online platform.
The initiative focuses on three characteristics of STEM careers in food and agriculture:
1) Make a Difference - STEM Careers in food and agriculture are on the front line of helping sustainably and healthily feed the world’s growing population.
2) Have Fun - STEM careers in food and agriculture are interesting and fulfilling.
3) Earn a Living - STEM careers in food and agriculture pay well.
An interactive web portal for Feed, Nourish, Thrive features videos from young professionals and students from member organizations of the STEM Food and Ag Council. The videos link to career profiles developed by AgCareers.com.The site contains videos from leading organizations including: ADM, ACSESS, Agriculture Future of America, Beck’s Hybrids, DMACC, DuPont Pioneer, Michigan State University, Monsanto, National 4-H Council, National FFA Organization, Nationwide,PepsiCo, Tuskegee University, University of California-Davis and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
In addition, the platform will connect users to high quality, age-appropriate, interactive STEM resources. The platform is open for submissions of materials to be included in the site as well and will continue to add new materials and engagement opportunities with partner organizations.
A social media dialogue with the hashtag #FeedNThrive, will encourage students, young professionals and the broader industry to join in the conversation on Twitter and Instagram.
“The challenge of sustainably feeding the world will require the best and the brightest innovators,” said Dr. Brown. “We must inspire the next generation to take on this challenge. Feed, Nourish, Thrive connects young people and those around them to high quality resources about exciting careers in food and agriculture. This resource will help raise awareness that careers in food and agriculture are not only fun and high-tech but also impactful.”
“We need for young people to understand that they can make an impact in the world by pursuing a STEM career. What better career path is there than one dedicated to sustainably feeding our planet’s growing population?” saidSTEMconnector CEO Edie Fraser.
College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources