Climate change, increasing population, and a shortage of freshwater are global threats set to take center stage by 2050.
Not only are they individual threats complete with unique consequences, but they directly affect global agricultural development. Even now, the pace of growth is outweighed by population increase and slowed by climate change.
If we continue down the current path without a change in trajectory, then the world is looking at major agricultural setbacks in the next century. Already, there are many countries and areas worldwide that don't have the necessary tools, finances, research, and support to properly maintain their agricultural resources.
There is hope for help, however. Public and private entities that appreciate our precarious farming situation offer farmers additional funding and resources to get ahead of the curve. Nonprofits, foundations, charities, communities, and others don't stop at helping farmers but strive to network with advantageous parties for further assistance.
Regardless of industry or challenge, business strategies like networking and an excellent elevator pitch are necessary if you want to stand out from other candidates. Due to the imbalance between help offered and help needed, farmers have to stand out from the crowd with a unique selling position (USP), and additional assistance needs to be persuaded.
Growing Crops through Growing Connections
MBA students graduate with an advantage because they learn about the importance of networking. They understand that rubbing elbows and managing an online persona accounts for 85% of jobs being filled.
Traditionally, networking is connecting with others during social and professional events. Today, networking can be done virtually as well. By joining social media groups and keeping a professional profile on sites like LinkedIn, professionals can network without putting in the physical effort. Having said that, real-life networking can create the strongest connections.
The field of agriculture can benefit from networking as well, meeting with professionals who can offer assistance. Whether it's the government is trying to meet farming demands, scientists who are exploring new growing methods, or a smallholder farmer who need financial consideration, networking is where the help starts.
For instance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed over $4 billion to agricultural development, but the foundation can't help those who aren't asking. It's important to note that networking usually doesn't involve desperate inquiries so much as a perfect elevator pitch.
An Elevator Pitch for Agricultural Development
Before the question comes the connection, and the connection is the elevator pitch. It should be natural, seamless, tailored, and comprised of the following sequence:
Grab their attention; describe a need to fill; how you can satisfy that need; help them visualize your solution, and ask them to take part in the action. This is the elevator pitch – a quick introduction of your goals and operations that describes your USP so the prospect's immediate questions are answered before asked. An elevator pitch is particularly useful for engaging the help of charities and nonprofits because it can highlight what you'll do in exchange for their help.
Agricultural professionals have plenty of material with which to make their case, so a creative elevator pitch conveying the important information may make the difference between gaining assistance or being overlooked. Agricultural development, if given the appropriate consideration, can avoid our future farming concerns. It will take appropriate networking on all sides; particularly on agricultural professionals.
As mentioned earlier, if they don't ask for help and make themselves known, then help can't be offered.