Farm Food Facts

The Next Generation’s Attitudes Towards Food and Farming

April 28, 2020 USFRA Episode 74
Farm Food Facts
The Next Generation’s Attitudes Towards Food and Farming
Farm Food Facts
The Next Generation’s Attitudes Towards Food and Farming
Apr 28, 2020 Episode 74

This week, Tim Glenn, Chief Commercial Officer at Corteva Agriscience, joins us to talk about the recent results of their study on the attitudes of Gen Z/Millennials on the future of food and farming as well as how the agriculture industry and Corteva are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Show Notes Transcript

This week, Tim Glenn, Chief Commercial Officer at Corteva Agriscience, joins us to talk about the recent results of their study on the attitudes of Gen Z/Millennials on the future of food and farming as well as how the agriculture industry and Corteva are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phil:   0:01
Farm Food Facts.  Where every former every acre and every voice matter.  Welcome to Farm Food Facts for Wednesday, April 29th 2020. I'm your host, Phil Lempert Every farmer, rancher, retailer and consumer is facing the most serious epidemics in our lives.  Many of our farmers air in the fields right now preparing their crops for spring.  We're also seeing extraordinary efforts from our farmers and our ranchers. Everybody across the supply chain working together and coordinating their efforts to fill that supply chain and their supermarket shelves are filling up. Tim Glenn, Chief Commercial Officer for Corteva, is with us today to talk about how the AG sector is coping with Cove in 19. This week's kudos and hashtag virtual High five goes to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union that represents over 1.3 million supermarket employees for calling that every supermarket worker he supplied with protective masks and gloves having customers be required to wear masks in grocery stores and to limit the people allowed in stores at a one time to be limited to 20 to 30% of capacity. In order to make it easier to enforce social distancing, the UFCW gets this week's HASHTAG virtual high five. Tim, Welcome to Farm Food Facts.

Tim:   1:30
Great to be with you today Phil.

Phil:   1:32
So, Tim. How have you seen those in the ag sector step up and respond to the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

Tim:   1:41
Clearly, it's been quite a quite experience here over the last few weeks. As you mentioned, you know, our former customers or even in the field working or preparing to go into the field. And so it's, you know, with that they've been able to take adventures that themselves on and in others as well, like social distancing and taking special charities but hygiene. So they are at the production level, you know, farmers to prepared for those of us who are serving farmers obviously put a lot of pressure on us to make sure that we add the products and services in place that they are counting on and to be able to do it, making all the different way than we typically have obviously less space based contact and and respecting some of the practices that we've got put in place now. But I think the industry is really stepped up well and you know we're in a good spot right now where you know, the seed crop protection products that customer feed, our are in place. Um, I think others up and down the value chain have also stepped up. And you look at how thrusters are are making sure that products get in place a zehr needed. Our retail partners are agents someone see as well as all the way through the food value chain. It's been a great spotlight. And with agriculture being one of the essential industries, it's a huge responsibility for all of us. Can I think you're seeing agriculture really stepped up into its parts health either to society?

Phil:   3:09
How has your company, Corteva and even the individual employees of courts haven't been able to support their local communities?

Tim:   3:18
Well, I think you know, you look at it on a few fronts. First thing is from a business standpoint, you know, we've worked to make sure that we've had business continuity in place and you know that again. That means that you know, the products and services that customers were trusting in the line one are there. In that same time, we've had to take care of our employees because, you know, we have literally thousands employees who were working hard every day t provide that service and product to our customers. So making sure that there are employees or safe making sure that our operations are meeting continuity and Rabel it spy those products and services has been, uh, be priority. And they said we were in a good spot right now in terms of our spy chains and having product in place. So, you know, making sure that we're there to serve our customers from the first are from a philanthropic standpoint, you know, for tennis and very committed to helping our communities. PHOENIX We operate in a swell as those individuals that are impacted by Soviet 19. And so, you know, we're using over capabilities to help, um uh uh, bring solutions. The folks in that that's included, You know, attributing our financial resource is Aziz. We can, especially to ensure food security for people who have been impacted by economic disruption. You got as well as some of the capabilities we have in terms of where we've had additional PP or been able of a provides for two first responders or healthcare workers with additional PPE. We've done that and then finally from employees Stamp Boy, you know our teams Are we stepping up and yes, uh, embracing the families here And we've had many grassroots opportunities that they can place. He had local seats, hours who collected food as a delivered see to the farms. They've been ableto collect food and the lives of that's the local food pantries. We've seen one pioneer cells agency get on Facebook and, uh, is massing donated food products and and had over 400 donations that they had. They had person match. And so really, all of our team has stepped up and again, it's ah, really, I think it's a great time to put a pasta spotlight on the contributions to make an agriculture. And our teams are very committed and proud to be a part of this important industry, and it's been a great opportunity for us to it performance business, but also, on an individual basis, help society,

Phil:   6:05
You know. So Tim, you mentioned, especially now, the ag sector has become more vital than ever. You've just released the results of the study called the Future of Food and Farming that took an in depth look at the attitudes of the next generation of farmers and consumers, those being classified as millennials and Generation Z what they feel about farming in the future of the food system. What were the drivers behind commissioning such a study?

Tim:   6:33
First thing is, you know, we're in this for a long run, and obviously we're in a very dynamic industry, and it's important that we not just look at where we're at today, but look at where trends are moving forward, and those next generation producers and consumers are really on the forefront of working to be listened. So the good news is we get commissioned of this study. We looked at the millennial farmers and consumers, you know, in that linea oler, or decency range, probably 16 to 38 years old, and we looked across by countries. So we look at Brazil, US, China, France and Russia, which are all key agricultural producers. And the good news is that you know, the attitudes are our food system is strong and stable today, but that that next generation is really interested in and concerned about some aspects of what the future of of of food production looks like. And so it was a court. Maybe get that perspective.

Phil:   7:30
So share with us some of those learnings. You know,  What did you learn that maybe you didn't expect?

Tim:   7:37
I think that, you know, one of the things that stood out for me was that there was actually a lot more alignment between those who are on the producer side in the consumer's eye and me a lot of things. We think about the difference between those who were in the production agricultural side and consumers. And it feels like it feels like there's abuse difference in terms of of what there's aunties are, or maybe what the areas of concern are. And it was actually quite a bit more alignment, I would say on what the major areas of concern work and that there was also a strong the linemen on an open mindedness from both the producer and the, uh, consumer side to work together and door more on a collaborative basis, defecate entry that are challenges their software forward.

Phil:   8:26
What, if anything, did you find out about what both groups believe we really need to do to protect the future of food?

Tim:   8:36
But really, they were concerned about the integrity of the food system and that, you know, both producers and consumers are interested in that. They believe that. But they have responsibility for helping to create solutions on. They want to work together in order to develop what the solutions are.

Phil:   8:53
I'm not sure if you if you asked us this question. But do these younger consumers understand the importance of making sure that our farms to survive in order to meet the increased demand of a growing population?

Tim:   9:10
Yeah, absolutely. There was really strong alignment, and there was probably four common areas of interest that I would call out. And certainly securing the interests on the future of farms was one of those. And, uh, I think that there's a justifiable concern around, you know, what is the future of family farming operations going forward? And both from a consumer standpoint and from a producer standpoint, there's there. Some concern about whether family farms will continue to be a lot. Just we look down the road,

Phil:   9:37
So do you share that concern?

Tim:   9:40
It's certainly something that it that is concerned because there's, you know, you look at our history and there's no better steward of the land and someone who's living and raising their family on that. And so it's the tradition of agriculture, not just here in the U. S. But around the world. And so, you know, we we work hard to make sure that our their customers, um you're most of whom are family operations are able to be as productive as possible and be in a position where they can sustain their operations for generations.

Phil:   10:12
So when we look at millennials and we look at generations, Avery food involved generations probably more than we've ever seen before. How do you envision these two groups working together to ensure a good food secure future?

Tim:   10:31
Yeah, I think I think, you know, from from both sides, we've got to listen to each other a little bit more.  A lot of times it feels like we're coming about, uh, an issue from very different perspectives. But when you can find that common ground, those issues of concern, whether it's around, you know, protecting the availability, protecting those who were producing food, making sure that that, um, you know that we're confronting some of the major challenges around sustainability. Um, it's it's really important that we work in a collaborative way, and, um, and make sure that both sides have a voice. So, you know, we and agriculture can't just operate with the deaf ear to do those who are further up the food from a production standpoint, you know, we haven't we have a responsibility, make sure that we're listening to those who were going to be consuming our products. And from a consumer standpoint, you know, we to ensure that there's level of transparent suit so that they understand the great steps we're taking towards an ability that they understand the technology use that we utilize in terms of production of food and also the processes that we use for a food. So I think that there's an opportunity for both sides, and I look at communication and collaboration being absolutely easier because there were points of common interest here than difference in what we have to do is make sure that that we're sharing information freely in that we're engaging in that conversation. First, start locking ourselves in Rome.

Phil:   12:00
So you mentioned sustainability a couple times, and both sustainability and climate change or hot button issues right now, what does this next generation former feel needs agriculture to do to be a solution to climate change?

Tim:   12:17
Yeah, both consumers and farmers. They want to work together to find solutions that that that ensure that we got readily available food, that we've got technology available that will produce is an efficient way, and I quality ways and that we are addressing questions around that on climate worth sustainability. And so you know, both want to work. Are both sides are saying that they want to live in a world, but they don't have to choose between the environment and having enough he and so you know, there's there's, ah, a lot of common interest air. There's an open mindedness to science and technology that's absolutely necessary to continue to drive productivity. And, you know, that's for companies like us come in and bring solutions that help. You'll bounce that, uh, that that that that what seems like a gap at times between productivity and sustainability and products like friends for which is a new race or beside that recently won a green chemistry award is a great example of bringing a product that needs that farmers need to go out and do with very difficult we control issues and at the same time is doing it in a very environmentally responsible way. Uh, it is a major step forward now, what? She said. I used to ask,

Phil:   13:33
What do these people that you surveyed feel is the biggest threats to food from climate change? And did they give you any suggestions about what could be done to combat it?

Tim:   13:48
That's true, but we got into absolute suggestions around combating it. But I think that there's an open mind this be having technology being a part of it. And I think that's a that's a big deal. I mean, I look at the challenges, you know, my career is relatively short because you're agriculture on this, you know, my 32nd year working in the industry. But I look at the practices me avoid today versus what we would have done back late 19 eighties, when I would have joined the industry, and most of those have been driven by algae and I think that there's an open mindedness that technology is gonna be a big part of the solution that's gonna help deal with some of these great challenges. So you've got to continue to push forward. We gotta continue to challenge ourselves. And we can't. We can turn a deaf ear to, um what those challenges are. And I think that that that that continued price forward and developing solutions that are gonna help Theo balance that need to drive productivity at farm gate level as well as do it in a much more sustainable way That's going to be a part of our fast forward.

Phil:   14:50
So when you review this survey and the results from it, what was the one big wow that when you saw it, you said I never knew that I never thought about it and a light bulb went off in your head.

Tim:   15:08
You know, I guess I it struck me personally. That there waas such a question about what the future of food was gonna look like and whether we'd be able to produce enough that help meet the needs of of what's in ever increasing consumption of the world and both farmers and that concerned as well that's consumers. So there is in with concerned about our ability todo provide that high quality spied that's needed to support a growing world that was. That was one thing that clearly stood out and again, I think, I think, just the fact that on the big issues that are out there, whether it's around the food for a few food, whether it's round sustainability issues in general, whether it's round securing the future of family owned farms, that is, that is something that was very common. And then finally they come true that both consumer and farmers have a waste in the discussion of those things that really stood out for me. But that part around the question that you know, because I'm an optimist, I leave that you know that we got a great trapper providing and, you know, unfortunate that I could probably world and see the impact that that agriculture standing around the world. It's probably more of an optimist in that space that the fact that there is genuine concern for both sides, probably that probably struck me

Phil:   16:34
Well, keep up that optimism. And Tim, thanks so much for joining us today on Farm Food Facts.  

Tim:   16:40
Now it's great to be with you, and I appreciate everything that everyone's eyes doing up and down the Value chain from the production agriculture site away from those who ours were retail levels surfacing consumers that are underdressed. It's challenging. Every year it seems like we have different sounds agriculture, and this is certainly one of them. But, you know, I just want to think that time do thank you for bringing focused issue and certainly hope that asked that everyone appreciates everyone up and down the value chain because way are buying a valuable service to all Americans right now. And I think some folks were probably not recognized for our response. Say thank you to everyone you said,  

Phil:   17:31
Well said.  And thank you.

Tim:   17:33
Thank you.  

Phil:   17:36
Thanks for listening to today's podcast episode for more information on all things food and agriculture. Please visit us at us farmers and ranchers dot or also be sure to look for us on Facebook at US farmers and ranchers or on Twitter at USFRA until next time