Feed, Nourish, Thrive: Empowering the next generation of STEM leaders in agriculture

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Sherri Brown, Monsanto

We’re all aware of the challenge by now: to sustainably meet the needs of our growing population, we must double food production by 2050 while using water, land and other resources more efficiently. It’s a big challenge, and one that will require a wide range of ideas, resources and expertise to accomplish. More and more, we’re seeing important contributions from thinkers with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) backgrounds – and we need to continue fostering and encouraging the next generation.

The STEM Food & Ag Council (SFAC), a project of STEMconnector, announced a new campaign to encourage the next generation of bright minds to pursue STEM careers in food and agriculture. The campaign, called FeedNourishThrive, aims to increase awareness of the workforce needs (and opportunities) that currently exist at the intersection of STEM and agriculture. Indeed, only 61 percent of STEM food and agriculture labor demand is currently met through our schools of food, agriculture and renewable natural resources.

The FeedNourishThrive campaign emphasizes three key characteristics of STEM careers in food and agriculture:

  1. You can make a real difference
  2. You can have fun while doing it
  3. You can earn a great living.

At the core of the campaign is an interactive website that will connect young people with resources to help foster their interest and engagement in these areas. The website, feednourishthrive.org, features a variety of dynamic content, including career opportunities and videos featuring many potential public and private sector employers. The website is open for content submissions and will continue to evolve as the campaign builds momentum.

Of course, no campaign targeting millennials would be complete without a social media element. One key way the campaign will come to life on socialmedia is through the #FeedNThrive hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. We encourage anyone interested in STEM and food & agriculture to join the conversation.

Making a balanced meal accessible to all in a sustainable way will require a diversity of backgrounds and expertise – and STEM will increasingly be on the front lines. This campaign is just one way to help young people understand both the importance of STEM in food & agriculture and the opportunities available for them to make a significant impact in the world.

My STEM-journey has brought me here, where has it taken you?