Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Applications Now Open for 2017 Precision Impact Award

Lenexa, Kan. (May 31, 2017)—Each year, the Precision Impact Award (PIA) recognizes a retailer or management individual on a national level for excellence in incorporating precision agriculture into their retail operation and their farmer-customers’ operations. Entries for the 2017 award are now being accepted for consideration. “Ag retailers are on the front line of helping farmers implement sustainable and profitable practices with precision ag. They play a valuable role in providing cutting-edge and practical technologies that improve farmers’ yields,” said Rhonda Brooks, AgPro Editor. “AgPro is proud to help recognize leaders in the industry with the Precision Impact Award.” The award recipient will be announced during the annual ARA Conference and Expo, which is slated for Nov. 28–30, 2017, at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. During the conference, the winner will be presented the Precision Impact Award and will have their business highlighted for exceptional achievement. The award recipient will also be featured in AgPro magazine. SST Software is sponsoring the PIA for a second consecutive year in conjunction with AgPro magazine and the Ag Retailers Association. “This award represents the best innovation in precision agriculture, and SST strives to create and provide this innovation to the retail market,” said Joe Akin, SST Software Chief Operating Officer. All submissions for the award are due no later than Aug. 31, 2017.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mars, Incorporated Launches THE COCOA EXCHANGE

An Experiential Platform in Chocolate MT. ARLINGTON, NJ (May 3, 2017)–Mars, Incorporated announced today the launch of THE COCOA EXHANGE™, a direct to consumer platform that provides a rewarding way to turn a passion for cocoa into a worthwhile profession. THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ products are designed to be experienced, not to sit on a store shelf, which is why the brand brings them to consumers directly through specially curated in-home experiences. Cocoa has been a passion of the Mars family for more than 100 years. Launched in the family kitchen in Tacoma, Washington, today Mars, Inc. is the world’s largest chocolate company. This exceptional pedigree, combined with the contribution of three in-house culinary chefs, brings chocolate to life in unexpected formats that are 100% exclusive to the THE COCOA EXCHANGE™. Committed to providing a truly wide-ranging experience, THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ offers three curated, proprietary brands: • DOVE® SIGNATURE™ - Dive into the silky smooth world of DOVE® SIGNATURE™ chocolate • PURE DARK™ - Explore chocolate beyond the candy bar, for serious chocolate adventurers • POD & BEAN™ - Discover your new secret ingredient in the kitchen with POD & BEAN™ products. Offering limitless savory options all made with chocolate, from White Chocolate Raspberry Honey Mustard to Chipotle Hot Sauce, you’ll find that cocoa goes with just about everything. The direct to consumer format of THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ provides a simple and rewarding opportunity for anyone looking for a “side hustle.” As a Curator, any cocoa-obsessed individual can take their love of chocolate and turn it into their own business by hosting an in-home tasting experience for friends and family. With the culinary expertise of Mars and a broad range of chocolate offerings, individuals can customize their approach based on their preferences and the tastes of their Hosts and customers. THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ Curator opportunities include: • Hosting an in-home experience, which is simple and rewarding - their friends will have a blast and hosts earn credits which they can use to shop for free! • Creating custom experiences for their tasting experiences using 100% exclusive products. • Selling through online retail – Curators have their own personal online storefront that is always open, collecting orders and is maintained by THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ • Earning flexible income and perks, including o 25-40% commissions on personal sales o Product Discounts o Flexible schedule and an opportunity to have their own business THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ is also committed to giving back. Mars, Inc. mapped the Cocoa Genome and with a bean-to-bar process, they lead the world’s chocolate producer’s Cocoa Sustainability efforts. DOVE® and THE COCOA EXHANGE™ have also partnered with CARE®, a premier humanitarian organization, to provide women in the Cote d’Ivoire, a cocoa producing country in West Africa, with Village Savings & Loan Associations where they can learn business skills and build their own businesses.

Five U.S. Delegates Among 100 Young Leaders Appointed to Help Tackle Global Food Security Challenge at International Agriculture Summit

More than 1,000 applied as delegates for the 2017 Youth Ag-Summit to be held October 9-13 in Brussels, Belgium RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (May 3, 2017) – Crop Science, a division of Bayer, is pleased to announce that five millennials in agriculture have been selected to represent the U.S. at the third Youth Ag-Summit, to take place in Brussels, Belgium, from October 9-13, 2017. The young leaders are part of a delegation of 100 people from 49 countries selected to participate in a week-long think-tank focused on identifying innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to address global food security challenges. Themed “Feeding a Hungry Planet,” this year’s summit aims to address the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals of ending hunger, achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture. This year’s summit will be the third that Bayer has offered to young people around the world, and represents a long-standing history of support for the next generation of leaders and innovators. “The agricultural industry can contribute strongly to achieving some of the key U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, but this also requires the active involvement of the next generation. The Youth Ag-Summit aims to give young leaders the opportunity to foster their ideas, share best practices and explore the role of modern agriculture in feeding a hungry planet,” said Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and head of the Crop Science Division. The five young delegates representing the U.S. are: Anna Gomes, age 20 from Ferndale, California, is an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis studying agriculture and environmental education with an emphasis in plant and soil science. She is a National FFA alum, has held internships with the Climate Institute in Washington, D.C., and participated in study abroad programs taking her everywhere from London to Paris. All of these experiences have ultimately solidified her passion for plants. During high school she started an agricultural business, Anna’s Herbs, growing and marketing herbs and flowers to local consumers through farmers markets. Trading labor for greenhouse space, she worked for a local farmer and learned the basics of farming, marketing and nurturing young crops. All this has led to her current activities, which include a biology lab assistant, serving as a research intern for the UC Davis Water Management Lab, and the SCOPE Project, a plant breeding for organic systems initiative. Upon graduation in 2018, she will focus on researching climate change and its impact on food production. Ben Carson, age 20 from Plant City, Florida, found early inspiration through his upbringing in the thriving farming region of Central Florida. Although citrus production used to be one of Florida's largest economic drivers, the citrus industry has been greatly impacted by citrus greening. This exposure helped foster an early interest in agriculture and the belief in the importance of growing nutritious food for thriving communities. During high school, he furthered that interest by spending his spring breaks in Brazilian favelas working with impoverished, food insecure children. Today, he is a finance and marketing major at Samford University. After graduation, he hopes to provide management consulting services to agricultural businesses to boost economic development around the country. Emily Buck, age 24 from Gallatin, Tennessee, has devoted her career to agricultural policy. Buck grew up on a 400-acre family farm, participated in 4-H and FFA, and later earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee, a background that fostered her passion for agriculture. She currently works for the House of Representatives as a congressional staffer for Diane Black, where she guides policy on agricultural issues. As someone who lives with Crohn’s disease, Emily knows what it’s like to go long periods without food. The resulting difficulty with studying and maintaining a job during those times has given her a personal glimpse into one dimension of what it’s like to be profoundly hungry. This has inspired her quest to find solutions for others by helping to foster a policy environment in which agriculture can flourish. Julie Greenwald, age 21, from Boston, Massachusetts, is pursuing a double major in environmental studies and cultural studies, with a minor in peace and justice from Villanova University. The young scholar has earned a 3.94 GPA, was on the Dean’s list for three consecutive terms and has raised more than $23,000 for the university. Beyond these accomplishments, Greenwald spent five weeks living and working on organic farms in three Belgian cities this past summer. Her agricultural career aspirations are guided by her belief that food security is a basic human right. Field experience at home and abroad, coursework and her personal research have all inspired her to roll-up her sleeves alongside her peers to discover solutions to one of the most complex problems of our time. Noah Hamlish, age 22 from Chicago, Illinois, is a Thomas J. Watson Fellow researching aquaculture practices in Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand, Chile, Norway and Scotland. He received a B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Wesleyan University. There he was an elected member of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and recipient of the Scott Biomedical Prize and William Firshein Prize in molecular biology for research completed during his senior year. He also held an undergraduate research fellowship at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and an internship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he cultivated a passion for understanding the foundations for healthy aquatic environments.He hopes to combine his scientific background with his recent experiences on fish farms to promote new perspectives on aquaculture in his community. In the future, he would like to direct food science research that benefits sustainable, socially conscious urban farming and food production initiatives through studying more efficient biological systems. The chosen delegates – who all share a passion for agriculture and a vision of a world without hunger – will undertake group projects and participate in industry tours, as well as learn from expert guest speakers. Their mission is to come up with concrete new ideas that can drive agricultural progress across the globe and be put into practice back home. To be considered for participation, delegates were required to submit essays on the topic of food insecurity, factoring in the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. A total of 1,187 essays from 95 different countries were submitted, all of which were reviewed by a panel of industry experts, including six U.S. judges representing national youth leadership organizations such as the FFA and 4-H, academia, a former Youth Ag-Summit delegate and Bayer. The 100 delegates attending this year’s summit hail from the following 49 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. Summit partners include Groene Kring (GK) and Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA). Visit www.youthagsummit.com to meet the delegates and to learn more about the Summit. Follow the latest news on @YouthAgSummit or https://www.facebook.com/YouthAgSummit/.