MONJES, IOWA When you visit London, si te encuentras en el metro, youll be cautioned to Mind the Gap. This means to be careful about the step between the subway platform and the train. Theres another dangerous gap in London and around the world, between agriculture and consumers. Its a gap of understanding.

Ian Pigott:UK Farmer:We are in danger of returning to an era where the farmer is guilty until proven innocent.

Ian Pigott is a fourth generation farmer from the United Kingdom and thereceptor de la 2014 Kleckner Comercio & Premio avance de la tecnología. Pigott has used that observation to propel him to action in opening lines of communication with consumers, a mission to close the gap.

Pigott farms 1,800 hectáreas, a mere 20 miles from the City of London and 13 un millón de personas. Its clear that his proximity to all of those consumers shapes his understanding of the importance of communicating openly about farming. And here consumers and farmers have been distant from each other for longer, perhaps five generations.

En 2006 Pigott foundedOpen Farm Domingo. Its a day where more than 400 farmers throw open their gates and welcome consumers, free of charge. This takes place annually the second Sunday in June and so far, mas que 1.5 million consumers have participated.

Open Farm Domingohas three objectives:

  • In welcoming visitors, we show ourselves as an industry thats open and proud.
  • Its a great story that appeals to the national media.
  • It creates a united platform for all sectors of farming to stand together with one goal promoting farming as it is.

Pigott sees the education of todays consumers and tomorrows policy makers as integral to the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by the year 2050. With an eye toward the future, Pigott recently startedTheFarmschool.

Ian Pigott: UK Farmer:We need to continue to educate our younger audiences about farming, but the reach of these resources needs widening, especially as school children reach an age when they form opinions and challenge critical thinking.

TheFarmschool brings two to three schools to the Pigott farm each week, where students learn the good news story about agriculture, the relationship between science and nature. He says as schools appreciate the benefits of outdoor learning, we in agriculture should make the most of this opportunity.

Another platform for Pigott is the disconnect between scientific research and agriculture thats happened in the UK. To change this, Pigott invites researchers out of the laboratory and onto his farm. He also invites farmers to meet with the scientists to share stories and challenges. He pictures Dr. Norman Borlaug in this kind of an environment, not in a laboratory, but out in a wheat field, sleeves rolled up talking with farmers.

One more agenda: future farmers.

Pigott says in the UK, farming and being a farmer is in vogue. Farmers are used in marketing campaigns to sell everything from pickup trucks to beer.

Ian Pigott: UK Farmer:Our image is being hijacked, and were portrayed with pitchforks and straw hats, as somewhat intellectually challenged. That hurts our ability to attract the best and the brightest to our industry. It infers an industry that has not adapted to change and embraced science.

Pigott has put a lot of his time into Bright Crop, a cross industry initiative to promote careers within farming and food to 14 to 18-year-olds. He stresses the importance of connecting with teachers so they understand how agriculture and science are intertwined.

Ian Pigott: UK Farmer:In the UK, we estimate that we need an additional 75,000 new entrants in the next six to eight years to fill the vacant positions. Without education, children will not challenge these stereotypes.

All of these platforms, Pigott believes, help us in our global quest to feed the world.

  • Communicating with consumers
  • Communication with school children and teachers
  • Building a dialog between farmers and researchers
  • Attracting future employees to agriculture

Ian Pigott received the 2014 Kleckner Comercio & Premio avance de la tecnología el martes, octubre 14 en Des Moines, Iowa en una cena de premios a los agricultores globales organizada por Truth About Trade & Tecnología y CropLife International. El premio se otorga anualmente desde 2007 y reconoce un agricultor mundial que ejemplifica un fuerte liderazgo, visión y determinación en el avance de los derechos de todos los agricultores para elegir la tecnología y herramientas que mejoren la calidad, cantidad y disponibilidad de los productos agrícolas en todo el mundo. Fue creado en honor a Dean Kleckner, Presidente Emérito de la organización. Los premiados anteriores son Rosalie Ellasus, Filipinas (2007); Jeff Bidstrup, Australia (2008); Jim McCarthy, Irlanda (2009), Gabriela Cruz, Portugal (2010); Gilbert Arap Bor, Kenia (2011) Rajesh Kumar, India (2012) and V. Ravichandran, India (2013).