The second Agricultural Innovation Camp, held in Turkey in May, was organised by Monsanto’s DEKALB with the help of the Junior Achievement (JA) Award, Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship. Onur Camili, Commercial Lead for Monsanto Turkey, was a speaker and judge at the event and has shared his experience.
The event, held for the first time last year, aims to lead the younger generation to think about the current and future challenges facing agriculture. A general problem in Turkey is that young people are moving away from agriculture, which highlights the importance of events such as this. It was well supported, with over 100 students from high schools and universities attending and 10 colleagues from various internal departments volunteering to help at the event.
In my opening speech of the day, I emphasised the importance of agriculture and of developing technology to make the industry sustainable. A number of entrepreneurs also gave interesting speeches about the importance of agricultural innovation and shared their vision with this young talent.
“I believe that each step taken by the younger generation in agriculture is extremely important for our future.”
After the speeches, the students were given a specific problem to solve. They competed in working groups and prepared their projects with the help of Monsanto employees. My colleagues supported each team by sharing their knowledge and experience regarding the problems the students were solving. Following their team work exercise and idea-development stages, the students planned the implementation of these ideas and presented them to the judging panel.
I was a judge in the event and it was an amazing feeling to see young students creating ideas and solutions for agriculture with such enthusiasm and passion. At the end of the day we voted on the ideas and awarded prizes for the best work plan, innovativeness, creativeness, presentation and team spirit.
I am confident that we achieved our aim to increase awareness of agriculture among high school students and motivate them to create innovative ideas to bring our future forward. We also encouraged them to work as a team and to think innovatively. I believe that each step taken by the younger generation in agriculture is extremely important for our future.
I observed that, after thinking about agricultural solutions for a whole day, students gained an understanding of the importance of agriculture and realised the need for technology.
My team of Monsanto volunteers shared with me their satisfaction after the event. They also learned a lot and had a chance to see what students thought of our industry. We are very proud of this achievement and are looking forward to the next event where we can meet new students and continue to share our professional knowledge and help them develop.