There’s no doubt Americans take food for granted.

40 under 40It’s generally cheaper and better here than about every place on earth. People have the luxury of thinking about organic, local, natural, grass-fed, free-range, meatless Mondays, etc.

There are pockets of people who go hungry, but those are rare thanks to abundant food supplies, excellent distribution networks and government and charitable food assistance.

That’s not the case elsewhere in the world. Not only are millions without food, but those who are gaining prosperity are envious of America’s food system.

A couple years ago the United Nations reported that food demand will double by 2050 as the world population grows from 7 billion to 9 billion.

Who better to fill that need than American farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers, doctors and thought leaders?

Last year we at Vance Publishing Corporation decided to honor these people who will be part of this solution since our Agribusiness brands cover so many of these vital industries.

When you look at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate, with its fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy, Vance brands provide business-to-business content and context in all of these.

No offense to baby boomers, but Generation X and Y will have to solve the 2050 food challenge, so we called for nominations for leaders under 40 this spring.

The 40 profiles you read here represent some of the brightest people in agriculture as chosen by seven judges from agriculture.

They are the 2013 class of food innovators, and we look forward to another class in 2014.

See this year's class.