Prior to his speech Shaver reminded this audience of this age and, with a smile, warned them that he may lose his voice during the address. Dr. Bill Stevens sat by his side in case he was needed. Shaver then proceeded to speak eloquently for over an hour on the need for sustainability in agriculture and the economy as a whole.
With concerns over rising temperatures, water shortages, equal distribution of food, he stressed the need to support scientific and technological advancements to create more sustainable processes.
His address touched on the need for government to take a more active role in supporting innovative projects with the goal of a more sustainable economy. He also addressed the need for our government and its citizens to support new initiatives in distributing wealth more effectively and ensuring food and water resources do not run out. “I have not been speaking doom and gloom,
Shaver said, “but rather – have we the will to inform ourselves about the real pressing issues that will transform our future? – and to do so soon enough to exert a positive influence over humanity’s destiny.” He concluded his speech with the message that the future of humankind will be centered on the need for food and water security for all mankind.
During the question and answer period, an audience member asked about the relationship between human nature, democracy, and bringing change to our economy. Dr. Shaver stated, “I did business in 94 countries, and I traveled actively to them all many, many times. I was touched by the fact that, without exception, I found cooperation wherever I went in the agricultural and food producing community…There’s co-operation in agriculture in many ways you wouldn’t expect.”