The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) presented the 2013 Borlaug CAST Communication Award to Jeff Simmons, the president of Elanco, at a morning event in conjunction with the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 16. Recipients of this annual award are science/agriculture experts who demonstrate an ability to communicate by written material, public presentations, and various forms of media. Simmons is known for his communication skills and praised for his understanding of scientific data, his enthusiasm for agricultural innovations, and his passion about finding solutions for food security.
Both this year's award and the breakfast presentation event were sponsored by DuPont. A roundtable discussion organized by Elanco followed the CAST program. Simmons previewed his new white paper, Enough: The Fight for a Food Secure Tomorrow. The panel of experts included Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Land O'Lakes CEO Chris Policinski, President and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Chuck Conner, and President of the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition Sue Finn. They focused on the protein gaps and sustainability issues of the global food security debate.
Simmons began developing his passion for food security as an agriculture student and FFA member in New York. Throughout years of study, international experiences, and leadership roles, he has built a reputation for his writing, speaking, and organizing expertise.
One colleague sums up Simmons' impact this way: "Jeff's affable personality and warmth balance his dynamic energy, intellectualism, and excitement when talking about our food future, so the message is readily received. Jeff can distill data and present it so that it is easily understandable, garnering confidence and trust in the premise conveyed."
Simmons presented a challenge in his reception speech: "Food security is solvable. Unlike many of our world's challenges, there are clear solutions. There is a window of opportunity to meet the challenge. We have enough time if we act now."