Young-Puyear Attends International Conference

Cyndi Young-Puyear (Brownfield Ag News, Jefferson City, MO) was among a group of seven U.S. journalists who made the trip to Monheim, Germany, for the Future of Farming Dialogue 2018 event with Bayer Crop Science

Ag journalists from the United States met with Bayer Crop Science President Liam Condon.

Farmers, influencers, and journalists from more than 35 countries met in September 2018 for Bayer’s farming dialogue. “The much-anticipated merger of Monsanto into Bayer Crop Science began four weeks prior to this global thought leadership event, so there were many questions about the direction of the new company. During the opening session, Bayer leaders outlined the vision for the future and reaffirmed a commitment to innovation, sustainability and digital transformation,” Young-Puyear said. During an interview later in the day, she asked Bayer Crop Science President Liam Condon what has him “buzzed up.” “What I’m most excited about is simply the potential of this company,” he replied. Condon also noted they’ve talked about it in an abstract sense as two companies for the past two years; and now that they are together, it’s a little like Christmas when you get to open all the toys and see how wonderful they are: “And now we are unpacking the toys, and there is a tremendous amount of excitement in the organization about what we can accomplish and how we can help our growers.” Condon added that glyphosate litigation in California that came the week prior to the closing was like the ugly sweater under the tree that no one really wants, but that they will deal with it. When asked about what he is “buzzed up,” Bob Reiter, Global Head of Research & Development, said he’s very excited about putting together scientists from different disciplines that have never really talked. “Our scientists are so eager and anxious to collaborate, and when you let scientists work together, that’s when the excitement really can take place.” Beth Roden, head of Global Communications for Bayer Crop Science, told Cyndi this event is about more than getting Bayer executives in front of attendees. “We really want to have an opportunity to engage in dialogue, to really talk about the challenges and the opportunities that are facing our industry, and that’s why we call it Future Farming.  So, the more we can lean in to what’s coming down the road and to start to create those conversations is really the purpose behind this event.” Attendees heard from a variety of presenters, including experts in disruptive technologies such as Blockchain, Microbiome, gene editing, and drones.  

On a personal note, Cyndi enjoyed seeing former Brownfield intern Beverly (Kreul) Flatt excel in her role on the Bayer communications team based in Monheim.