Merck Animal Health last week announced its sponsorship of the 2015 National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention &; Expo, which will be held Oct. 28-31 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. This year's theme – "Amplify" – brings into focus the need for agriculture advocacy. Throughout the event, FFA members will be provided with opportunities to shape their stories and learn how to have their voices heard - helping educate others about the importance of agriculture and the resources needed to meet future food needs.
"More than 80 percent of the U.S. population resides in urban areas, and an increasing amount of people are four to five generations removed from an agrarian lifestyle," said Scott Bormann, Vice President, North America, Merck Animal Health. "This ongoing urbanization has created a significant gap in cultural understanding and acceptance of food and food production. As part of the industry, we have a responsibility to help close that gap. That's why we are proud to partner with the National FFA in shaping the next generation of leaders by arming them with the information and resources needed to bring the story of agriculture to life."
The company will sponsor daily workshops, hosted by Michele Payn-Knoper, author of No More Food Fights: Growing A Productive Farm and Food Conversation. She will present on the issues facing consumers and farmers, and will share insights on ways that FFA students can help bridge the disconnect between farm and food. Workshop advisor attendees will receive a free copy of Payn-Knoper's book.
"I see a fork in the road between the farm gate and food plate – a divide that can be bridged through meaningful conversation," Payn-Knoper said. "I have firsthand knowledge of the overwhelming amount of misinformation working against the science, business and technology of feeding the world. On a daily basis, I see people frustrated about food and believe it's time to bring people together around the plate."
A live stream of the convention will be available through RFD TV. The public is encouraged to follow the event on social media channels using the #SpeakAg and #Amplify convention hashtags.
Details are available at www.ffa.org/convention. Those who are interested in learning more should contact their local Merck Animal Health sales representative or visit the Merck Animal Health booth at the Expo (Booth #1129).