MACA For A Half Century

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, the Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) membership gathered in Indianapolis, IN, to honor the organization’s half-century of activity. Just prior to the meeting, CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj spent some time talking with MACA Executive Director Bonnie McCarvel about the association’s accomplishments, future goals, and overall hopes for the next 50 years.

CROPLIFE: In your mind, what has been MACA’s proudest moment over the past 50 years?

MCCARVEL: I think first place goes to the number of things is the association has done to create and develop industry standards. We keep hearing about MACA 75, which is one of the industry standards that we developed, and went on to develop MACA 25, and a couple of other brochures, the “How To” of ag chemical storage, and the “Fundamental Principles for Ag Chemical Storage.” And the other one is the crop protection warehouse storage standard survey. Whenever we go out and talk with people within the industry, they remember that and remember that MACA worked very hard and diligently to make sure that would be useful and yet was something that the industry could live with.

CL: On the flipside, what’s been your biggest disappointment?

MCCARVEL: Probably the biggest challenge is that we still have people that are in the industry, but they are not actively involved. We really need everybody to be involved because there are those people and companies that invest time in resources — whether it’s financial resources or people — but there’s always the few who don’t get involved. If we could get everybody involved, we would be that much stronger.

CL: So how do you get them involved?

MCCARVEL: A couple of ways. We’ve actually been working on that the past two years. We have to go out and tell our story. I’ve been working with the president and vice president of our association to go out and meet with the company representatives, the people that are really involved in saying “yes” or “no.” We tell them that they should continue to be a member of MACA and make sure they understand what MACA is working on and why it’s beneficial to their company. Also, we talk about the benefits to their company and that other potential members could see if they were members, taking some time and getting some people who actually know what their specific business is about and more of the details of being able to talk with them one-on-one. And sometimes that’s just the key part. We have to make sure that we go in and ask them for their involvement.

CL: What are the next goals on the agenda?

MCCARVEL: There are probably two things that are still big concerns, and will continue to be issues, that we have to work and keep focus on. One will be water issues. MACA first got real active with that back in 1996 when it hired Jack Dutra to become water consultant. We’ve got the Great Lakes and Mississippi River coming through the Midwest, so water issues can really impact the industry. We have to be proactive rather than reactive. If we can have somebody helping us and monitoring what’s going on and making sure that everyone understands what the industry is doing instead of having everything mandated to us. If we can have some input, we can make it easier for everybody, and everyone will be much better off than just letting it be dictated down without input from the industry.

Probably the second area that continues to be a challenge is speaking out and educating the public about the benefits of agriculture and crop protection products. That’s why our CropLife Ambassador Network (CAN) program is so important. We are reaching out to the elementary students in grades three, four, and five because if we don’t get them at an early age, we are going to have problems later on.

CL: Where would you hope MACA is for its 100th birthday?

MCCARVEL: I would hope that we will be continuing to provide benefits to our members, by delivering benefits to them which helps their business and continue to update and maintain as well as develop industry standards which are needed. We will make sure the industry has the input into what the standards are, so that they are acceptable to everyone in the industry. That would be one.
The second one would be on water issues. We want to make sure that we haven’t put people out of business because everyone has dictated to the industry what it should be doing. Rather, we need to get the point across that if you base the decisions on sound science and technology, there are great opportunities  to provide input from the crop protection industry. 

Probably the third one would be our CAN program. It  has been effective and continues to grow. We still have people taking the time and are willing to go out and talk to our elementary students and youth, as well as John Q. Public. We need to let students  and consumers understand what we do, why it’s so important, so that we continue to have a safe and abundant food supply here in the U.S.

CL: Will the association scope get more international by that point?

MCCARVEL: Yes, we should be able to do some of that because our technology has come so far. We can literally send things to anybody here in the U.S. in a matter of seconds through the Internet, so there’s no reason why, if somebody in another country wanted to talk to some students, that they couldn’t use our CAN program to do so. And our industry standards can’t just protect the U.S. We have to make sure that the standards and whole industry is doing good things around the world. So if businesses outside the U.S. could take some of our information and modify it slightly to meet some of their needs, that would just show the benefits of having industry standards in place that work effectively and efficiently.

CL: Anything else?

MCCARVEL: I think MACA’s been very, very fortunate. We’ve had some excellent involvement by different member companies that have been committed and willing to give their people the time to get involved and that’s been very, very crucial. Without that, we couldn’t do much because we really run a very small office and rely greatly on our volunteers. Sometimes we forget to say thanks. So my thanks to the member companies that have been members and encouraged their employees to be active in MACA.

Leave a Reply

Management Stories

ManagementMACA 2014: The State Of The Agricultural Industry, And Then Some
October 9, 2014
The trade association’s annual gathering featured speakers from across agriculture and beyond. Read More
StewardshipA Multi-Layered Approach To Water Quality
October 6, 2014
Illinois event highlights research and technology designed to better monitor and improve water quality — and the benefits of cooperative, coordinated effort. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
ManagementRussia Bans U.S. And EU Ag Product Imports In Ukraine Sanctions Battle
August 7, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned the import of agricultural goods from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia. Read More

Trending Articles

CropLife 100Agrium To Cut 500 Jobs, Sell Some Businesses
November 11, 2014
Among the businesses Agrium will try to sell are its micronutrients and European UAN (urea-ammonium nitrate) lines. Read More
HerbicidesMonsanto, Sumitomo Chemical And Valent Extend Crop Protection Collaboration
November 10, 2014
The agreement extends their strategic partnership in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions platform for soybeans and cotton in the U.S. Read More
FertilizerCorn Rootworm Hybrids And Potassium Uptake
November 4, 2014
To achieve successful yields, grower-customers can’t afford to cut back on their potassium use with corn rootworm hybrids, say experts. Read More
StewardshipResponsibleAg Begins Auditor Training
October 31, 2014
ResponsibleAg auditor training is now underway at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. Read More
InsecticidesNew Research Study Shows The Value Of Neonics
October 29, 2014
The study evaluated seed treatment, soil and foliar uses of neonicotinoid insecticides in the U.S. and Canada. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More

Latest News

EquipmentAGCO Announces Operator Of The Year Finalists
November 20, 2014
Four custom applicators have been selected by AGCO Application Equipment as finalists for 2014 Operator of the Year, an honor that recognizes them as being among the top professionals in their industry throughout North America. Read More
MicronutrientsH.J. Baker Expands Tiger-Sul Business
November 20, 2014
H.J. Baker has created and filled two strategic positions in business development and sales within its Crop Performance Division. Read More
soybean field
FertilizerGeneral Mills Honors United Suppliers For Nitrogen Opti…
November 19, 2014
United Suppliers winning proposal detailed SUSTAIN, a consulting network that provides customized products and services for farmers using a needs-based system approach. Read More
EmployeesOhio AgriBusiness Association Awards $25,000 In Scholar…
November 19, 2014
Each year, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Educational Trust scholarship program awards scholarship dollars to students enrolled in an agriculture-related field attending several state colleges. Read More
ManagementServi-Tech Names New CEO
November 17, 2014
Servi-Tech has named Greg Ruehle its new president and CEO. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Ag Acquires Colorado Aerial Application Outlet
November 17, 2014
Ft. Lupton, CO-based Reck Aviation — a full-service chemical application company providing aerial crop applications of fertilizers and crop protection products — will operate as part of Pinnacle's AgOne Application Services brand. Read More
Eric SfiligojMcDonald’s Message: Biotech Crops Scarier Than Cancer
November 17, 2014
Despite their potential health benefits, one of the world’s largest potato users will pass on a new biotech offering. Read More
MicronutrientsWinField Releases 2014 NutriSolutions Results
November 14, 2014
A number of significant regional and national crop deficiency trends emerged from the 2014 WinField NutriSolutions tissue sampling program. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Opens Chinese Production Lines
November 14, 2014
The occasion was the official launch of the Tiger-Sul sulphur Bentonite production line of two much anticipated fertilizer products in China, T90CR sulphur fertilizer and TZinc micronutrient enhanced sulphur fertilizer. Read More
ManagementOhio Certified Crop Adviser Program Accepting Nominatio…
November 14, 2014
The award recognizes an individual who delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production in Ohio. Read More
HerbicidesSyngenta Announces Acuron Trial Plot Results
November 14, 2014
Acuron was tested at 167 trial locations across 35 states. Trials included 95 Syngenta locations, 54 university locations and 18 distributor locations. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Expands Sales Force
November 13, 2014
The new sales representatives will work with growers, retail partners and distributors to oversee technical training and product education. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Raises $100K For Wounded Warrior Project
November 13, 2014
AGCO Corp. partnered with local AGCO dealers across the U.S. and Canada to raise nearly $100,000 in support of wounded service veterans. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Launch Of Enlist Duo Herbici…
November 12, 2014
It will be launched in conjunction with a stewarded introduction of Enlist corn, and seed production of Enlist soybeans in 2015. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Expands Tiger-Sul Business
November 12, 2014
Agricultural firm H.J. Baker has created and filled two strategic positions in business development and sales within its Crop Performance Division. Read More
Blenders13 Fertilizer Blenders For 2015
November 12, 2014
Dealers can find a fertilizer blender to deliver any speed, volume and custom mix they want. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Vice President Receives Honorary FFA Award
November 11, 2014
Jim Loar, vice president of operations of Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division, was awarded the Honorary American FFA Degree at the 2014 National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, KY. Read More
FertilizerBASF Makes Limus Nitrogen Management Available In U.S.
November 11, 2014
Reducing ammonia losses by more than 90%, Limus nitrogen management has demonstrated increased crop yields on average of 6%, according to 2013 replicated research. Read More