Alltech Using Virtual World To Help Farmers During Pandemic

Dr. Mark Lyons, President and CEO of Alltech, much like many farmers and agribusiness companies began early on seeking information on how the pandemic will impact the industry, and how the company should respond. After discovering how helpful their resources could be to the entire food supply chain, Alltech published a special video series online.

“As we started to look at this, we said why don’t we share this information,” said Lyons. “This is something that another company could look at our policy, they can adapt them to what makes sense for them whether its geographic, cultural, regulatory, and they can use that information and that can strengthen the overall food chain. So, that was kind of the impetus to do this, realizing that global food supply and the security and stability of global food supply is critical during a time like this. Now we’re getting to the point of how do you go on farm and how do you go back to work, and all that type of content we’re putting out there, including things in terms of the psychological challenges of COVID, and dealing with this. All of that information, we are putting out there.”

The video series is available online at Allltech’s Website Lyons saidexpert panels included in the series show the challenges COVID-19 presents and opportunities to build a better industry in the future.

“So much of this kind of comes back the same things,” Lyons continued. “People are wanting security, they’re wanting connection, they’re wanting to feel some hope for the future, and that message just kept coming out that we are going to get through this, and we are going to adapt. I think a really strong message that there’s going to be a new, or next future, for our industry, and those of us that can stay positive, that can stay engaged, have an opportunity to really shape what that’s going to look like. I think the other big message was how much focus has gone on the food chain and agriculture and how there is an opportunity in that to show a positive face. Our farmers, ranchers, producers, are out and they are doing these jobs and that should be a sense of pride and something that we need to really build upon.”

Meanwhile, in March, Alltech announced that ONE: the Alltech Ideas Conference, typically held during May in Lexington, Kentucky, would transition to a virtual event. Lyons says doing so allows the company to keep attendees safe, and provide new and different content.

“There’s 70 countries, there’s 3,500 people, in a normal context those are all great selling points. But, that’s not probably something that in this COVID moment that people want to hear. So, if there was some sense that we were somehow part of putting peoples lives at risk within our community, that’s unacceptable. We thought about, we said, you know, we have an opportunity to do something that we’ve wanted to do for years.  We’ve wanted to create a digital program for a long time, and therefore, why don’t we do this now. We can bring in even more international speakers, we can create something that’s really year-round. And so, when people sign up for the ONE Virtual Experience, we will be having special events as part of that throughout the year.”

The event will include the same thought-provoking mindset to help push for innovation and creativity in agriculture.

“I’m going to be having a chat with a former astronaut and former Air Force Colonel Katie Coleman and she is going to talk about her experience in space. And here’s somebody that really knows about self-isolation having spent six months in the international space station. Again, what we’re wanting to do is we’ve got all that content, all those really interesting things about our industry and what is happening, and we want to continue to bring that type of content that’s out of the box, that’s thinking differently and pushing us to really grab this opportunity that we have right now. And, I think in many regards, as we are seeing in so many cases, this challenge creates new inspiration, new creativity, that’s what we are hoping to deliver.”

Registration information for the ONE Virtual Experience is available Here.

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