Resource Magazine — January/February 2014
Change Language:
from the President
Lalit R. Verma

Marketing the Value of Ag and Bio Engineering

In my first column in the September/October 2013 issue of Resource, I asked how well we have marketed our profession. Perhaps it is more appropriate to ask ourselves: should we market our profession? The answer is a resounding yes, if we wish to not only survive but grow, because we are in a relevant, timely, and worthy profession that needs to be better known. For example, it is common to encounter prominent forums on the grand challenges of climate change, world hunger, sustainability, and the security of food, water, and energy. With our profession’s unique interdisciplinary approach, we work in all these areas, yet we are not represented on most of the expert panels seeking solutions to the grand challenges. We are partly to blame for this, because we have not successfully communicated our strengths and abilities.

Now ASABE is addressing that oversight. The McKinley Report, Future Thinking, and Path Forward committees of your leadership team have culminated in a reconfiguration effort, with the underlying objective of better communicating who we are and what we do in the ABE profession and in ASABE. This is the beginning of a marketing effort to help us retain a greater proportion of student members and attract others to join us by showing the world how we are working to solve the grand challenges.

The reconfiguration will also make us more nimble. It will give us more flexibility to expand our horizons even farther in enhancing sustainable food, water, and energy systems. The new structure will be advanced first on a national level with the expertise of public-relations professionals and then on a global level to give us our rightful seat at the table. Our profession has great value, but it is not as understood and appreciated as it should be. The opportunity is out there, and the time is right. Marketing our profession can’t wait any longer, because the world needs what we can do.