As many of you have probably already heard, a vegetable garden has been planted on the White House grounds in Washington, DC, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s “victory garden” during World War II. The garden is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s crusade to promote healthy eating.
The garden is a great idea and the photo op of the First Lady and local elementary schoolchildren digging up the ground was precious, but did you realize that it will be an organic garden? What message does that send the general public about the agriculture industry that the majority of you are so proud to serve? What message does that send to the non-farming public about an important and integral part of growing safe and abundant crops to feed and clothe the world — crop protection products?
Bonnie McCarvel, executive director of the Mid-America CropLife Association and Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador coordinator, “shuddered” at the thought that the White House garden will be organic. The pair chose to send the First Lady a letter, encouraging her to consider using crop protection products and to recognize the importance of agriculture to the entire U.S. economy.
Bonnie and Janet are to be applauded for getting the industry’s message out there so clearly. But how much effect will a single letter have?
I hope that you will take a moment to consider how important that message is to your livelihood, your passion for agriculture, and your growers’ future — and send your own letter, sharing the benefits of modern, conventional agriculture. Help allay any fears by providing a specific example of how what you do on a daily basis, including custom application and/or the sale of crop protection products and fertilizers, has saved a crop and/or improved yields to benefit more Americans.
If you want to send your own letter, it can be sent to the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.