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Bayer Crop Science pulls out of farm shows and other large events for rest of 2020

Company cites health concerns related to coronavirus

Bayer Crop Science has announced it will not attend large agricultural shows, fairs or other gatherings for the remainder of 2020. 

This decision was made to help ensure the safety and well-being of farmers, their families, partners, Bayer Crop Science employees, and the rural communities Bayer Crop Science serves due to the COVID-19 pandemic, say Bayer Crop Science officials. The  announcement is aligned with those measures to maintain social distancing and avoid large group gatherings and is consistent with advice from leading health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say company officials. 

The announcement includes shows like the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days, says Bayer officials. Bayer released this statement: 

"It’s really not about any one show, it’s a comprehensive approach to viewing all events. We’ve decided to not participate in or have our people attend any gathering that is larger than 12 people for the remainder of the year internally or externally. While we always value the chance to spend time with our customers, given the potential downside risks to a farmer’s health and the potential impact of that on their operations, we think there are better ways we can engage with them and minimize that potential risk for everyone."

To connect with growers and others in the ag industry, Bayer is focusing on creating new ways of sharing information and resources normally shared through these types of events, including online field days, agronomy webinars and branded experiences, among others, say company officials. 

“While video and digital experiences can’t fully replace the fellowship and fun of in-person events, it’s exciting to try new ways of connecting with customers to share information about plot and field results, agronomic insights, new product and technology updates, and more,” said  Lisa Safarian, president, Bayer Crop Science North America, in a Bayer press release. “We fully expect to be back at farm shows next year, and we look forward to gathering with our customers, colleagues and partners across the industry once again.” 

Recognizing that farm shows are an important fundraising opportunity for many ag youth organizations, Bayer will be contributing to ag youth organizations to help support them through this time, said Bayer officials. This is in keeping with Bayer’s ongoing commitment to strengthening communities where farmers live and work, say Bayer officials.

Company officials say that for decades, Bayer has invested in youth development programs and organizations across the United States like 4-H, Agriculture Future of America and FFA, among others. They point out that at the 2019 Farm Progress Show, Bayer announced a 5-year, $6 million program contribution to 4-H and FFA to continue their important work in developing future leaders for the food and agriculture industry.

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