For the ninth year in a row, the winner of the Borlaug CAST Communication Award (BCCA) was honored at a World Food Prize side event, and this year’s recipient–Marty Matlock–gave a well-received keynote address about The Promise of Prosperity from the Land in the 21st Century.
Matlock began by explaining how he was inspired by Dr. Norman Borlaug, and he paid tribute to his legacy by emphasizing the need for interdisciplinary efforts as we work to feed the world. With a focus on sustainability, Matlock explained that “prosperity is well-being–social connections are the key.” To develop his central theme he touched on several key ideas:
- Urgency to increase prosperity from the land
- The face of agriculture is in the face of women
- “Land ethic” and the need to make farming accessible for younger generations
- The importance of peri-urban ag systems
- The nutritional challenge–feeding the growing population
Matlock’s presentation demonstrated why he won this year’s award. He has the ability to synthesize interconnected topics and present them to a diverse audiences. Recognized as a premier communicator and sustainability expert, he currently serves as the Executive Director of the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center. For more information about his background, click here.
Recipients of CAST’s annual award are science/ag experts who demonstrate an ability to communicate through written material, public presentations, and various forms of media. Matlock received his award after a breakfast sponsored by CropLife Foundation. During introductory remarks, World Food Prize president Kenneth Quinn pointed out that the BCCA award has become an integral part of the whole World Food Prize experience.
Jay Vroom–recently retired CropLife America president–stressed the importance of communication. As he said, “Tell it to the public.” Julie Borlaug Larson (INARI Agriculture) added to that by saying, “CAST has stayed true to my grandfather’s vision. We can’t leave communication out of agriculture.”
CAST Executive Vice President Kent Schescke–host of the morning’s events–welcomed Mark Cochran of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, who formally presented Matlock with the bronze award. The honor is presented annually by CAST, and this year’s attendees included scientists, journalists, farmers from around the world, and various dignitaries.
Following Matlock’s speech, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and American Society of Agronomy (ASA) organized a presentation and panel discussion–Global Sustainability for a Vibrant Earth. Chris Novack (President and CEO at CropLife America) moderated the program.
Panelists included Erin Fitzgerald (U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance), Jan-Hendrick Mohr (CLAAS Group), Jason Weller (Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN), and Marty Matlock. They focused on topics about sustainability, land stewardship, and consumer communication. The gathering ended with a Q & A session, giving each speaker an opportunity to provide specifics about what works best for a vibrant and sustainable food system. Dr. Matlock summed it up well by saying, “It’s urgent that all sectors need to work together–we need to build trust.”
Click here to access the video of today’s ceremony. Visit the CAST website at www.cast-science.org for updated information about the award, including nomination forms for the 2019 Borlaug CAST Communication Award.