San Diego biologist Steve Savage, a well-known national spokesman for agriculture, is offering agchem companies his expertise in the areas described below. If you would like to contact Steve about his ideas and concepts, he can be reached at email@example.com
In 2009, driven by the frustration of seeing so much disinformation about farming and its supporting technologies, I began posting documents and blogging in an attempt to “tell the other side of the story.” This entirely voluntary activity has expanded over the years to involve a considerable blogosphere presence (>180,000 page views since January 2012, >250 total posts), speaking in a variety of public forums, serving as a resource for reporters, and most recently spending a week in Kauai to help defend the winter seed nurseries there from misguided local legislation. I would like to spend much more time writing, speaking, and doing data analysis in support of agriculture, but am limited by the need to maintain my paid consulting activities.
I would like to find a way to shift towards full-time agricultural advocacy with the goals of:
- Telling the real story about how trends in modern agriculture are extremely positive in terms of productivity and improved environmental profile
- Telling the story of how farmers are the only ones who can “feed the world” in a sustainable way, and how they do that by integrating elements from a diverse, toolbox of technologies
- Helping people to enjoy food without fear: arming open-minded consumers with enough science and perspective to allow them to confidently enjoy a safe and healthy diet freed from the tyranny of the ubiquitous sources using fear and guilt to undermine their trust and/or to sell them something.
Because I have worked in many different areas of technology and with many different crops over the last 35 years, I have a somewhat unusual breadth of exposure. Examples include:
- Crop protection chemicals
- Biological control
- Genetics from conventional breeding to biotechnology
- The diverse workings of value chains in various crops
- Precision ag, protected culture …
- Sustainability: how to measure it meaningfully and the real barriers to full implementation of all that we know
Consulting for the last 16 years has shown me that experts across academia and business are extremely helpful when one needs to drill down on almost any question, technology, or aspect of the business. I would like to extend that learning mode more and more into advocacy work.
Specific Activities Envisioned
- To build off of my current, very basic, blogging presence by continuing to write but via a more sophisticated website and with better use of social media, info-graphics, on-line resources, videos etc
- To expand the activity of taking large, publically available data sets, analyzing them, posting independent analyses, and then writing accessible summaries for the broader public
- Expand speaking activities in various public forums for consumers, investment groups, food industry groups etc
- Continue to expand the role as a resource to popular press reporters to either provide information or appropriate contacts in industry and academia
- To serve as a resource to the various grower groups and health advocacy organizations who are also working hard to counter disinformation and fear. Also to support local efforts to counteract misguided political initiatives such as labeling or local bans that don’t make scientific sense
- Continue to act as a resource for industry-led initiatives such as GMOAnswers.com.
- Acknowledging that the best possible voices for agriculture are the farmers themselves, expand training activities for questions like, “how can I explain pesticides or biotechnology to my customers/neighbors /critics etc.
Training Offered to College Students
Helena Chemical Company is offering training courses. You are just an internship away from learning firsthand about the importance of the "ag chem/fertilizer" industry in U.S. food production. The purpose of the program is to provide interested college students valuable in-field experience under the wings of experienced Pest Control Advisers. For information on the training classes call 559-582-0291, or visit the company's Web site here.