“Agricultural consultants are one of the most critical success elements in our food and fiber system’s ability to survive change and thrive in the future,” stated CropLife America President and CEO Jay Vroom in an address delivered on Oct. 26, before the 35th annual meeting of the California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA). “CropLife member companies which supply American farmers with today’s modern crop protection products rely extensively on the professional expertise that pest control advisors provide to ensure that farmers are following best management practices and advancing stewardship,” he said.
Vroom’s address, “Our Blue Planet, Our Green Planet?” focused on the dual challenges facing agriculture today — meeting the food, fiber, and renewable fuel demands of a growing world population, captured in the image of space photos of the earth as a blue planet — while meeting ever-increasing expectations of society and government that agriculture operate in a greener manner.
“We’ve already made unbelievable advances in productivity using modern crop input technologies and have done so in ways that are also allowing the farmer to deliver increasingly positive environmental services. This can only happen thanks to the reliability of highly skilled and committed crop consultants being out in the field everyday,” Vroom continued.
“Crop advisors are great ambassadors for modern agriculture production,” Vroom observed. “Our success in producing more with fewer farmers has created a greater share of our population who are further removed from the farm. CAPCA members are effective spokespersons for the systems and technologies that farmers use and help consumers understand the complicated and marvelous ag systems we have today. Thanks for your partnership in getting the word out to our fellow Americans,” he said.
Vroom also updated CAPCA members on evolving new regulatory pressures on crop protection products coming out of Washington, DC. “Clean Water Act point source permitting for certain crop protection products is a new regulatory burden coming soon to a farm near you,” he explained. He noted that CropLife America will join with others to seek Supreme Court review of the related January 2009 Sixth Circuit case. CropLife America is also working closely with stakeholders and EPA to devise the most workable permitting system, should further Court review not be successful.
“We commend EPA’s Office of Water for its tremendous work to date in framing an approach to the possible new permitting requirements,” he said. “While we anticipate that the result of the Sixth Circuit decision will create some very bad policy, we are actively preparing for all possible outcomes.”
Finally, Vroom commended CAPCA members for their past successes in speaking out to the public and policy makers on important issues related to farming, and encouraged them to “continue to be great ambassadors for the important scientific technology that makes American agriculture the envy of the world.”