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
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer Warehouse
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
CropLife 100United Suppliers, McGregor Co., Five Others To Form Aligned Ag Distributors
January 20, 2015
These companies will continue to operate as independently owned and operated businesses, however, their crop protection divisions will now be formally aligned under the umbrella of Aligned Ag Distributors. Read More
CropLife 100Bozeman Named SEEDWAY Chief Operating Officer
January 16, 2015
He succeeds Donald Wertman, who will retire at the end of August 2015 after 40 years with the GROWMARK subsidiary. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis’ Craig Bair Honored For Safety Contributions To Ag Aviation
January 14, 2015
The William O. Marsh Safety Award recognizes significant achievements in safety, safety education or an outstanding operational safety program. Read More
Latest News
FertilizerH.J. Baker Hires New Crop Protection Marketing Manager
January 27, 2015
As Marketing Manager for the Crop Performance division, Usman Khalid will work out of H.J. Baker’s global headquarters in Westport, CT, and will drive new initiatives for the division. Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
Exclusive state-of-the art Stueve Construction designed “Vista View” Elevated Control Room.
Eric Sfiligoj2015 Agricultural Market Read: Mixed
January 26, 2015
The agricultural market could look radically different this year, profit-wise, depending upon which segment you do business in. Read More
Edward Chell Biosafe
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Names Ed Chell California Territory Man…
January 26, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the recent addition of Ed Chell as California Territory Manager for the agrichemical division, supporting the crop protection, water treatment and food safety business segments. Read More
InsecticidesBayer CropScience Introduces Sivanto Insecticide
January 26, 2015
Sivanto precisely targets key damaging pests at multiple insect life stages to prevent damage to plants and help minimize the spread of diseases from insect carriers. Read More
ManagementRetail Collaboration, Communicating Agriculture’s Good …
January 23, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the recent creation of Aligned Ag Distributors, and the US Farmers and Ranchers Read More
FertilizerOSU Expert: Toledo Water Crisis A Turning Point For Ohi…
January 23, 2015
The August 2014 water crisis in Toledo, OH, impacted Ohioans’ views of Lake Erie algae problems by increasing the attribution of blame of algae growth on agriculture. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Launching TIGER XP
January 22, 2015
Tiger-Sul introduces this next generation sulphur-bentonite product with a proprietary activator – ensuring farmers have a well-balanced nutrient replacement program. Read More
Crop InputsH.J. Baker Expands China Sales Force
January 21, 2015
Global Agricultural firm H.J. Baker announced that sales veteran Shi Dongshen has joined their Shanghai office in China. This newest hire follows the recent opening of their Lianyungang Sulphur Bentonite Plant. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer …
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
Matt Hopkins5 Bold Predictions For Ag Retail In 2015
January 21, 2015
This past year was filled with ups and downs for the nation’s top ag retailers, but what will 2015 have in store? Read More
SoftwareDeere Launches App Center
January 20, 2015
The John Deere App Center provides users the ability to search and find apps most useful to their business or operations. Read More
Crop InputsNew Syngenta Herbicide Approved In Soybeans, Sunflowers
January 20, 2015
Syngenta will sell BroadAxe XC herbicide in 2015 for use on soybeans, sunflowers and dry peas Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
Crop InputsNovozymes Sales Figures Up For 2014
January 20, 2015
Novozymes announces its sales growth in 2014 was in line with expectations as sales grew by 7% compared with 2013. Read More
CropLife 100United Suppliers, McGregor Co., Five Others To Form Ali…
January 20, 2015
These companies will continue to operate as independently owned and operated businesses, however, their crop protection divisions will now be formally aligned under the umbrella of Aligned Ag Distributors. Read More
Eric SfiligojGMO Or DNA? LOL Or WTF?
January 19, 2015
A new survey finds the American public seems generally confused when it comes to any three-letter descriptor for their food. Read More
FertilizerAGROTAIN Wins No-Till Product Of The Year Again
January 19, 2015
This marks the 10th straight year AGROTAIN nitrogen stabilizer has been named the top product in this category; no other product has matched this honor Read More