Meet Aly Bunton from the Crop Science Leadership Team
Alexandra (Aly) Bunton joined Bayer in January this year in the role of Public Affairs Manager, Crop Science, and is one of the newest members of the Crop Science Leadership Team.
I’m not from an agricultural background – I grew up in Sydney and Newcastle. My first exposure to the agricultural sector was through a grad program at the (then) federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Canberra. I went in not really knowing anything about the industry, but developed a real passion for it and ended up doing a Master of Agriculture through the University of New England. From there, I moved across to NSW Farmers, working first on extensive livestock, and then looking after grains, horticulture, ag science and young farmers. I was fortunate to work with great farmer members and got a real understanding of their policy challenges, including crop protection and technology.
In my role, entailing government and stakeholder relations, I love that I get to work on issues that I’m passionate about. I’m a keen advocate for using science to improve people’s lives and advance sustainability, including through crop protection and traits. It’s exciting to be able to tap into a global Bayer community to help Australian farmers, as well as promote their world-leading credentials in productivity, innovation, and use of resources. It’s great to see when that message cuts through to Government.
With a presence in Australia since 1925, and in local R&D and manufacturing, Bayer has a great story to tell. I’m excited by the deep pool of talent we have in the Crop Science business and I’m also keen to broaden our inclusion and diversity efforts into areas that are often overlooked in agriculture, recognising that the sector is doing well on gender representation but perhaps falling behind in supporting people who bring other diverse perspectives to the table.
In my spare time I read a lot of books (over 100 per year), volunteer with the Country Women’s Association on their state Agriculture and Environment committee, watch an alarming amount of interior design shows, study for my Master of Strategic Public Relations degree, challenge myself with baking projects, co-host a podcast, and stop to pat every dog that I meet.
What is important for the future of agriculture in Australia and New Zealand is retaining the science-based, independent regulatory systems that allow for product innovation and give farmers and the community the confidence that they are working with safe, effective products. If we’re going to deliver on the National Farmers’ Federation bold vision to increase our production and farm profitability to take us to $100 billion by 2030, we need to be doing more with less. This means getting smart about chemical inputs and investing in digital tools, as well as creating the right environment for investment in things like biotechnology for a resilient Australian farming landscape.