Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Evelyn Brandt Thomas

I turned 90 last month and I love to come to work. Why? Because people like to eat. Such a simple—and obvious—statement. Yet, such an increasingly difficult thing to satisfy. The global population is exploding. We are losing arable land every day. And tastes are changing to embrace more high-input proteins. As a third generation farmer, I have always had a passion to help feed the world. For 60 years, I have helped build and shape an agricultural company with one single purpose: Help farmers help feed the world. Simple. I want to help people eat. We have done that in a breathtaking number of ways—with new products, innovative technologies and a whole lot of new processes. When I was a girl, we were lucky to get 50 bushels of corn per acre: Now the near-term goal is 300. To do that, we must constantly improve. We can’t keep doing things the same way just because that’s the way things are done. We have to bring the newest ideas to bear to fill the predicted three billion additional bellies by 2050. Those new ideas include advanced chemistries, GMO crops and innovative grower practices. We are proud to be a part of the global production agriculture industry because we are proud to be stewards of the land. There’s not a farmer alive who would knowingly hurt the land that sustains his family and enables his livelihood. Our job is to help the farmer make informed decisions by providing agronomic testing, research and information. That means I’ll keep coming to work as long as I’m able. Because people like to eat.