"Change Through Biotechnology" by State Vice President Trevor Touchet
What is biotechnology? Biotechnology—an area of agricultural science involving the use of scientific tools and techniques, including genetic engineering, molecular markers, molecular diagnostics, vaccines, and tissue culture, to modify living organisms: plants, animals, and microorganisms. It’s obvious that without biotechnology, agriculture wouldn’t be what it is today. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to a time before biotechnology. We have grown a lot since the beginning of farming. For example, we have developed GMOs, various vaccines for animals, and pest resistant crops to aid in producing enough food to feed our growing world. With the world’s population expecting to reach 9.7 billion by the year 2050, biotechnology plays a huge role in accomplishing this goal by helping to increase crop yield.
Biotechnology is vital to agriculture. It allows farmers to grow more food on less land while using farming practices that are more environmentally sustainable. With the use of biotechnology, farmers yield more per acre, plants resist specific insects and pests, and farming techniques can be used to improve soil conservation. Farmers and ranchers can help plants and animals fight diseases and adapt to environmental stress and climate change. We can enhance the nutritional content of foods and improve human health through plant and animal produced therapies. There are so many more benefits of biotechnology and it will play a huge role in farming for years to come.
Biotechnology provides farmers with tools that can make production cheaper and more manageable. For example, some biotechnology crops can be engineered to tolerate specific herbicides, which makes weed control simpler and more efficient. Other crops have been engineered to be resistant to specific plant diseases and pests, which can make pest control more reliable and effective which could also help decrease the use of synthetic pesticides. In addition to genetically engineered crops, biotechnology has helped make other improvements in agriculture not involving plants. Examples of such advances include improvements in antibiotic production and producing new animal vaccines, such as foot & mouth disease and rabies. As you can see biotechnology not only plays a major role in the future of our crops, but it also has huge importance in strengthening our animals as well.
All in all, biotechnology is of grave importance for the future of our nation and the world. Without it, feeding the world in the future might not be possible, but biotechnology can only do so much. World population is expected to double within the next few decades, meaning that food and crop production must be able to meet the rising demand. With new advancements everyday, biotechnology has already done so much to change how we currently feed the world. Imagine what it will be in 20 years! However, these advancements would not be possible without aspiring agriculturalists like yourself. So, I challenge YOU all to be those that we need to make the change you want to see in the world!