Greg Johnson, Editor
Greg Johnson, Editor

The produce industry is justifiably proud to provide American consumers half their plate.

But we’re all consumers too, and we know we eat and enjoy the other half of the plate — the meat, grains and dairy.

As we saw during the recent recession, food is not an area where Americans are willing to cut back. As the population of the country, and the world, continues to grow, so too will food production.

It won’t be easy. Land isn’t growing at the rate of population, and as people take up more space, land available for growing food even shrinks.

There’s a movement to double food production by 2050 to feed the growing population, and this is where you come in.

The Packer’s owner, Vance Publishing Corporation, owns other media brands in its Agribusiness Group, so we’re starting a program this year to find the young leaders who will help double food production by 2050.

Nominate a young leader for 40 Under 40We’re calling it 40 Under 40, and we’re looking for nominations. We’re aware there are many similarly themed programs, but this one focuses on the big picture of feeding a growing population, and fresh produce will play an important role.

Along with The Packer, other Vance brands, such as Drovers/CattleNetwork, Dairy Herd Management, Bovine Veterinarian, porkNetwork, AgProfessional, The Grower and ProduceOps, seek nominations.

Individuals must be nominated by a colleague or fellow professional or themselves to receive the recognition, and individuals considered for the award must be between the ages of 20-40 at the time of nominations.

Nominees must be connected (owner, co-owner, employee, consultant, student, etc.) with a business involved in food production, food processing, food safety, food research, food transportation or a group, organization, association or university that serves those industries in the U.S.

Successful candidates for recognition by 40 Under 40 will show a passion for agriculture, demonstrate involvement in the food industry, and have a notable record of achievement.

You are starting to see promotions in The Packer and related brands. Learn more about the program, nominate someone, or learn how to sponsor at the 40 Under 40 website or by clicking on the ads on The Packer's website.

Individuals earning recognition in the 40 Under 40 program will be announced in the November and December 2013 print publications and sponsored on the websites of Drovers/CattleNetwork, Dairy Herd Management, Bovine Veterinarian, porkNetwork, The Packer, AgProfessional, The Grower and Produce Ops.

Produce should fill up half a plate, so send in nominations to make sure the industry is properly represented as an important factor in doubling food production by 2050.

What's your take? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.