By Steve Johnson
Good news always seems to come with a caveat. Case in point: Studies show both established and developing nations increasing their meat consumption, putting pressure on the food supply as it takes 10.6 pounds of feed and eight gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. And with the world’s population expected to rise to almost 10 billion by 2050, that supply chain will become even more strained. Food demand could see a steep increase of up to 98 percent.
Now, farmers are faced with the reality that they’ll have to increase their production across the board by 60 percent in as few as two generations if they want to keep up. Add to that the need for sustainability improvements, farm-to-fork food tracking, consumer labeling, and greater outputs — it’s a pressure-cooker environment. How can agriculture professionals hope to provide integrated global solutions that adequately feed, fuel, and clothe our growing planet?
The solution can be found in pockets of innovation and agtech expertise spread across the country in states like Missouri, West Virginia, and California …
… And my home state, Missouri, won’t be left behind. We’ve launched 39 North, an innovation district of almost 600 acres in St. Louis County. Industry leaders like Monsanto, KWS, and the Danforth Plant Science Center are already in the district; the endgame is to establish an agtech anchor in the community and build on the global leadership in agtech that Missouri is becoming known for.