Agreement forges path for sustained relationship on human capital and leadership fronts
March 10, 2015 – Gainesville, Fla. – The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted a joint press conference Monday to announce more details about its partnership with global seed company, Limagrain, and its Business Unit, HM.CLAUSE. At the press conference, which was attended by representatives of local, national and international agriculture media outlets, HM.CLAUSE and Limagrain re-affirmed and elaborated on their commitment to support the university’s Challenge 2050 Project. The Challenge 2050 Project is a first-of-its-kind initiative of UF/IFAS that recognizes the need to partner with global organizations in an effort to train tomorrow’s leaders on how to sustainably address the demands of a growing world population, which is expected to reach 9.6 billion people by the year 2050. In addition to their global financial gift of a combined $300,000 over the next five years, HM.CLAUSE and Limagrain announced plans to commit human resources and facilitate knowledge-exchange through an “executives in residence” program. According to Jack Payne, Senior Vice President for agriculture and natural resources at UF, executives from HM.CLAUSE and Limagrain will be invited to spend a week on campus to serve as a resource for students and faculty, as well as give guest lectures. Likewise, students from the program will be invited to take internships with Limagrain and its Business Units, including HM.CLAUSE, to put their studies into practice. “Through this mutual exchange we hope that industry leaders, students and faculty members alike will gain valuable new insights that will help us in attaining our shared goals,” said Payne.
CEO of HM.CLAUSE, Matthew Johnston, agreed saying, “The need for collaboration amongst companies, institutions and individuals globally is necessary in order to rise to this challenge. No one of us can do it alone.” UF, Limagrain and HM.CLAUSE see the partnership as an ongoing collaboration that will continue for years to come. “While certain aspects of the program needed immediate funding, the ongoing in-kind contributions from companies like ours are going to be far more meaningful to the mission over time,” added Johnston.
Students involved in the Challenge 2050 project can obtain a Global Leadership and Change certificate as early as May 2015. It is an extremely popular program and draws students from many different majors, not just from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Millennials are more concerned with saving the world than any other generation before them, which means that the interest in this certificate program is high and growing steadily,” said Payne. The result is a trend toward sustainability in food and agriculture, which is needed if we are going to feed more people with less inputs, less arable land, and reduced freshwater resources. As Johnston notes, “Engaging minds from a wide swath of academia, as this certificate program does, helps to bring many important and necessary perspectives to the table.” Payne sees a need to develop the program into a full undergraduate major and hopes that this can happen in the not-too-distant future.
For more information on UF/IFAS Challenge 2050, please visit http://challenge2050.ifas.ufl.edu
HM.CLAUSE is a global vegetable seed company dedicated to meeting local needs through global diversity, and is committed to innovation inspired by worldwide partnerships in the scientific, industrial, and commercial fields. An innovative company whose core business is plant breeding, HM.CLAUSE specializes in the development, production, and sales of vegetable seeds worldwide. In 2008, Harris Moran Seed Company (USA) and Clause (France) were grouped together under the HM.CLAUSE Business Unit of Limagrain. HM.CLAUSE generated €257 million in annual sales in 2013 and employs more than 2,200 people full-time located in over 30 countries around the world. Its investments in research and breeding represent 15% of annual sales. The organization coordinates breeding for 25 species and has more than 350 people actively engaged in research and development activities. HM.CLAUSE is a Business Unit of Limagrain, an international agricultural co-operative group, specializing in field seeds, vegetable seeds and cereal products. Founded and managed by French farmers, Limagrain is the 4th largest seed company in the world, and the only leading seed company that is not also a chemical company.
Media Specialist, AMPA Region