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Agrimarketing : May 2008 Supplement
24 AgriMarketing ¦ May 2008 2008 NAMA MARKETER OF THE YEAR J ob opportunities in the agricul- ture industry have continued to grow, but the number of gradu- ates able to fill these positions is falling behind. Over the next five years, the USDA expects 52,000 annual employment opportunities to be available in the agriculture industry for college graduates. However, a shortage of 2,700 qualified graduates is expected. With only 2% of the U.S. population farming today, now more than ever, students without farming backgrounds need to learn about agriculture’s promise to help fill this growing employment gap. “As a company 100% focused on agriculture, Monsanto continues to invest in programs that not only sup- port the agricultural education of youth, but also get them excited about a future in agriculture,” says Ernesto Fajardo , Monsanto VP, Crop Production. “Over the years, Monsanto has partnered with numerous organiza- tions that make a difference in the lives of young people and the agri- culture industry by educating, sup- porting biotechnology, developing leadership for the future of agricul- ture and supporting diversity in agriculture,” says Fajardo. FFA For over half a century, Monsanto has been a proud supporter of the national FFA organization and its nearly 500,000 members ages 12 to 21, in more than 7,000 chapters cov- ering 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Aside from financial support, the company continues to develop innovative educational pro- grams to help FFA students prepare for a future in agriculture. One such program is the sticky trap monitoring program, which encourages FFA students to help farmers monitor and better manage corn rootworms. In its first year, over 500 FFA chapters and nearly 8,500 farmers participated in the program, which included nearly 12,000 test sites. Based on the number of test sites, Monsanto donated over $600,000 to participating state and local FFA chapters. The idea of enlisting the support of FFA chapters to participate in the corn rootworm sticky trap monitoring program came from NAMA Marketer of the Year Dave Rhylander . For the past two years, this unique program has provided FFA youth with a meaningful agro- nomic experience while raising money for their chapters. Monsanto’s other contributions to the FFA include $1.3 million in scholarships awarded to members displaying exemplary scholarship and leadership skills; $1 million given in 2007 to help fund the Iowa FFA Enrichment Center in Des Moines; $100,000 commitment over five years to the Missouri FFA to establish an endowed FFA Leader- ship Fund; sponsorship of the National Leadership Conference for state officers; numerous awards and competitions throughout the year; and much more. 4-H Monsanto also supports the 6.5 million young people involved in 4-H pro- grams annually. Past support has included helping 4-H create a curricu- lum for youth to develop a basic understanding of the biotechnology field. Today, Monsanto is leading efforts in recruiting, training and recogniz- ing 4-H volunteers through its 4-H Volunteer Initiative Program. By sponsoring 4-H volunteer training programs and supporting 4-H’s Salute to Excellence Volunteer Recog- nition Program, Monsanto creates hands-on training experiences and recognition opportunities for the organization’s 540,000 volunteers. SCHOLARSHIPS Since 1999, Monsanto has joined the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) in awarding over $1.5 million in college scholar- INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE BY SUPPORTING AG YOUTH by the AgriMarketing Editors Michigan FFA members place a sticky trap at a farmer’s field to help measure insect pressure. (more on page 26)