DuPont Pioneer recently welcomed the executive committee of the U.S. National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) to the Pioneer Johnston campus.
During their visit to Pioneer, the executive committee, including 14 lieutenant governors and lieutenant governors-elect, participated in two panel discussions.
The first, entitled “The Century’s Biggest Innovation Challenge: Agriculture,” addressed the challenges of feeding a growing global population with a steady or declining supply of arable land. Panelists included Paul Schickler, DuPont Pioneer president; Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University; and Dan Cosgrove, DuPont Pioneer vice president of business development. The panelists emphasized the importance of global collaboration and innovation to increase agricultural productivity and meet global food demand. In addition to improving global food security, a strong agricultural economy provides states with many benefits, including economic growth and a wide range of job opportunities.
The second panel discussion, “A 21st Century Economy Rooted in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics),” featured panelists Pat Barnes, director – Global STEM Initiative, John Deere; Jenny Becker, executive director – community relations and charitable giving, Rockwell Collins; and Kari Webb, STEM regional manager, Iowa Lakes Community College. This session highlighted the strong growth ahead for STEM-related jobs and the shortfall of qualified candidates for those positions. Panelists shared information about their organizations’ efforts to improve and encourage STEM education.
After the panel discussions, the executive committee was given an exclusive tour of the Beaver Creek facility, Pioneer’s new $40 million plant genetics research facility, which opened earlier this year. During the tour, the lieutenant governors participated in extracting corn embryos from corn kernels.
“Hosting the NLGA executive committee at DuPont Pioneer headquarters was a great opportunity to help government leaders from across the U.S. see the value an innovative agricultural economy brings to a state and understand the importance of working collaboratively to solve the challenges of food security,” said Paul. “We must continue to work with partners at the local, state, federal and international levels to create an environment that encourages agricultural and scientific innovation.”