I do not strictly work in digital farming, but I did for six months this year.
After nearly a decade of driving our field trial program in Germany on corn and rye, a chance to stretch my knowledge into a new area has been a welcome one.
I was given the opportunity to temporarily work with the Climate Science team this year on a specific project with a specific duration, called a short-term assignment. This assignment focused on developing and delivering solutions for our European hybrid wheat system, to aid in more rapidly understanding the performance characteristics of wheat varieties.
During this brief stint with the Science team I gained invaluable experience through managing a high-impact, short-term project with colleagues I hadn’t previously met. In this context I worked to create a scalable technical testing platform that facilitated easy measurement and analysis of field trial data.
Not only did this assignment itself reap benefits to the company in the form of new approaches to hybrid wheat evaluation and testing, but I want to make two important points about this assignment as it relates to my own professional journey.
The first is teamwork, and the encouragement we feel in opportunities to grow our skill sets. Bayer as an employer offers numerous ways to grow and learn alongside everyday work, but taking a limited-duration assignment on another team—with the security of my role awaiting me when I returned—provided some of the best professional development benefit of my career.
This short term assignment has stretched me beyond the confines of the project – I ended my time in Climate Science with new colleagues and a new perspective on the value of my work. And this perspective is contributing to the direct application of my new knowledge as I pursue my graduate degree.
My second and final point is how critical our work is to the future of feeding the world. While I have worked in Germany for years, I am from Ukraine. This year in particular has brought great focus on the importance of my home country in the global food value chain. And that focus is what will continue to drive me to innovate and to do my part to help enable a more secure food system around the world.
Ultimately digital farming is about using global approaches to solve local challenges. Farmers in Ukraine, Germany, and around the world are hungry for solutions to those challenges. In the end, the better we are at generating data and understanding product performance, the better our customers will be enabled to use those products in producing secure and sustainable yields.