Blog •  9/21/2020

In It for My Grandson, In It for Good

Written By Jim Collins  sunrise over crop rows horizon

This year the world has experienced change in every facet of our lives - The COVID-19 global pandemic has forced many organizations, including Corteva Agriscience, to reimagine the way we operate, now and into the future.

Although often overwhelming, the circumstances of today present an exciting opportunity to build a better tomorrow, making 2020 an important and historic year for us all. This year, however, was always going to be memorable for me, because just a few months ago, I became a grandfather for the first time, making 2020 truly monumental for me, for my family, and for the many generations of Collins to come.

Although we knew my grandson would be joining this world in March – he, too, brought unexpected surprises. Like the closeness I feel to my son when I see him becoming a father himself, or the immediate love felt when first holding this incredible miracle. But the most surprising feeling was the overwhelming desire to be a better role model, to build a legacy that will make this little man proud of me and to leave behind a world in which he and his generation can feel safe and prosper. This is, no doubt, the same way that farmers feel about passing down their land and their farming heritage to the next generation.

Jim Collins Photo

We will be part of the solution to climate change, and to enriching lives for generations to come.”

I’ve thought about the ways in which I can contribute to this world in a positive way, and though there are many areas I’m committed to bettering, today my thoughts return to a subject that is central to how we work at Corteva, and is integral to our purpose to enrich lives for generations to come.


Having a true, comprehensive commitment to sustainability, especially in an industry as vast, varied and ever-changing as agriculture, is anything but simple. Every year, there’s new set of uncertainties: weather, markets, consumer preferences - just to name a few. As an age-old profession, one that has served as the foundation to all human endeavor and evolution, farming has always been sustained by technological innovation, optimism, and a desire to leave the land and the world better than we found it.  Farmers protect the land they inherit to leave it better and healthier for the generations that will follow, making them our first environmentalists. 

Yes, agriculture is complex and rooted in tradition, but I firmly believe the changes we make now will create long-lasting positive impacts. Our drive here at Corteva happens to be very simple, and one that I can now hold in my arms with my grandson.

The future

And if I didn’t believe in our potential to make the future better, we would not have introduced Corteva to the world last June.

In June, we announced 14 ambitious, industry-leading sustainability goals that Corteva will achieve globally by 2030. Cumulatively, this public commitment represents the bold agriculture model we introduced to the world — one that prioritizes advancing sustainability for farmers, for the land, for consumers, and for generations to come. It’s about innovation. It’s about commitment. It’s about integrity. But it’s also about a conviction that sustainability and productivity are not mutually exclusive. But rather, they are inextricably linked.  

In fact, those objectives can, and must, merge if we are to tackle the massive societal challenge that is social equity, food security and eliminate world hunger for good. We know we have the daunting task to double food production in the 30 years.  And we only have 30 attempts – one crop per season – to get it right. Time is of the essence.

So, here’s good news to celebrate:

We can achieve climate-positive agriculture without sacrificing productivity or ongoing profitability. That’s true today, and our sustainability goals will expand and multiply our efforts, particularly thanks to bold technological advances led by the best and brightest minds in agriscience.

I encourage you to spend some time with us this month to learn more about the remarkable technology solutions and science-based production techniques we’re already deploying to solve some of today’s biggest global challenges.

For example, I’m very proud of the work we’re doing to Empower Women and Enrich Lives of smallholder farmers, but also to advance farming practices that sequester carbon in the soil to reverse the effects of climate change. When the right tools, technologies, and practices are applied, plants can draw down carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and restore the soil’s organic carbon content. These practices are available, scalable, and quick-acting.

But this is just one part of our 10-year commitments to build the resiliency of the global food system. There is no better time to commit to protecting and preserving the source of our food, and helping our communities thrive. We support those who provide for us all.

Our 2030 sustainability goals include:

  • Goals to benefit farmers: As a leader in agricultural innovation, our 10-year commitments will provide tools and training for farmers to help increase yield stability, optimize inputs, and improve climate resilience.
  • Goals to benefit the land: We’re committed to providing tools and technology to improve soil health, advance water stewardship, and enhance biodiversity.
  • Goals to benefit communities: We’ll champion and protect people throughout the food system and the broader agriculture community.
  • Goals for our company’s operations: We’re pledging to innovate sustainably, establish a climate strategy, use sustainable packaging, and increase our sites’ sustainability efforts.

We support the future of farming. We will be part of the solution to climate change, and to enriching lives for generations to come.

Make no mistake about it: when it comes to the work, every month, every year, every decade, and every day, Corteva is about sustainability. We’re in it for the long haul. We’re in it for good.

And to my boys, to my grandchild, and to any Collins that follows, I am in it for you.

I’m in it for my Grandson. I’m In It For Good. 


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