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Doug Mertens, field sales manager for NK Brand Seeds, teaches elementary students the facts about agriculture as part of the CropLife Ambassador Network (CAN).
"It was one of the best times of my life," says Ginger Berry of Missouri Ag Industries Council Inc. of her experience at Blue Ridge Elementary School in Columbia, Mo., as an ambassador with the CropLife Ambassador Network (CAN).

Kids have a knack for making your day. Ask a question and the hands fly up with the sounds of "Oh, Oh!" Watch their eyes when they learn that satellites are used in farming or that soybeans can be made into crayons. Then, there's the child in the front who can define biotechnology better than you, and just for a moment you wonder who should be teaching whom!

But who better to teach about the safety and value of our industry than those of us working in it day in and day out. CAN's ambassadors instill factual information about agriculture in young minds before misconception can take hold. It takes much less energy and time to teach the facts to youth than to change the misconceptions of adults.

Advocating for agriculture can be easy for marketers with the classroom presentations that are downloadable from the CAN Web site, A benefit of joining the network is having the school contacts made for you. All that is required of professionals is a few hours, plus enthusiasm for the ag industry.

In conjunction with National Ag Day in March and Earth Day in April, ambassadors presented "Environmental Stewardship and Agriculture" to students across the Midwest. The presentation stresses that perhaps no other industry in the world has more invested in the Earth's resources than farmers and ranchers so what would be their motivation in threatening it? The presentation acts as a guide to discuss the environmental benefits of modern farming techniques. Adding information about agriculture specific to a professional's area, company and job makes it personal...a connection.

Don't miss out on the chance to have the best time of your life and to catch a child's enthusiasm. Who knows, maybe one day that child in the front will be working with you!

To join the CropLife Ambassador Network or for more information visit our Web site,, or e-mail Janet Braun at AM

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