Syngenta works toward boosting diversity in agriculture industry

Agriculture companies have focused on making the field of agriculture more diverse and inclusive.

Syngenta, a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security, has been at the forefront of bringing more diversity to agriculture in 2015.

“Because agriculture is such a global industry, it makes a lot of sense, business-wise, to support diversity and inclusion,” Daniel Loria, head of human resources at Syngenta, said. “Both are important strategic imperatives that will help fuel the long-term vitality of the agriculture work force.”

Loria made a point of recognizing the difference between diversity and inclusion. Diversity in agriculture includes every aspect, from gender and age to physical ability. Inclusion describes how employees of a company interact and follow the company’s values. The 2012 U.S. Agriculture Census said the Hispanic population increased the most between 2007 and 2012 in the area of principal operations on the nation’s farms.

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) is an organization that strives to get younger generations interested and trained in agriculture and the environment, while also giving members opportunities to give back to their communities.

“If we are going to have a sustainable agriculture industry for the future, we have to have all audiences at the table,” Quentin Tyler, assistant dean and director of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Office of Diversity and national president of MANRRS, said.

Syngenta has developed a diversity program, offered to 900 employees with management job responsibilities.

“We want to make sure that when we recruit and promote people, we let go of those biases and focus instead on the knowledge, skills and experience that the person brings to the work force,” Loria said. “If we learn to become inclusive, the representation of diversity will be an almost automatic outcome.”

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