Costa Rica Tour: It’s A Small World After All

Mike Twining

Contour farming, rotational grazing, integrated pest management, composting, nutrient recycling, improved land use efficiency, wildlife corridors, woodland management, certified crop advisors. These terms sound like what you might hear at a NRCS field day here in the U.S. I am happy to report they are alive and in full use in Pital, Costa Rica, as well.

The connection with stewardship of the land that farmers and agricultural retailers have across the globe was very evident as we traveled to represent the U.S. as national Environmental Respect winners. It was an honor to carry the Environmental Respect banner and we are very proud of the industry and group of business men and women we were chosen to represent. We were also encouraged to see first hand what I have always believed — those of us who live and work on the land directly involved in food production have a genuine and natural interest in good stewardship of that land. This connection transcends language and culture. The Central American Environmental Respect Ambassador, Mainor Rojas Sanchez, was a gracious host and tremendous representative of our industry. He not only runs a top-notch retail business, he is a leader in his community and an advocate for the farmers whom he serves. He shared with us how he has worked with representatives of the European Union to demonstrate the excellent crop management and advice his customers receive from retailers like him in the region. This not only emphasized the role good environmental stewardship plays in his day to day decision making, it also helped preserve a valuable export market for his customers. That’s the type of leadership which makes Mainor very deserving of the title “Ambassador of Respect.” It was an honor to stand with him and represent the retailers in the U.S. who share this same level of concern for their customers and the environment.

The trip was extremely well planned. Raymond Forney from Dupont did a great job orchestrating the planning of the event. He recruited Ana Christina Rojas (a Costa Rican native) from Dupont’s registration department to serve as the trip coordinator and guide. Rojas was a professional and upbeat hostess and translator who never let us have a dull moment.

Our other great traveling companions were K. Elliott Nowels from CropLife® magazine and his wife Joy and our Dupont Representative Ned McIlvane and his wife Nancy. My wife Jen and I made new friendships with these folks and several others we met in Costa Rica.

We were fortunate to meet with several representatives from DuWest while in Costa Rica. Milton Pineda Chevez, general manager of the DuWest’s business in Central America and the Carribean, Israel Garita Cruz, research and development manager for DuWest and Huberth Rojas Morales, the DuWest representative who worked with Mainor, the Central American Winner.

A Wealth Of Knowledge

The knowledge and professionalism of these gentlemen was very impressive. Cruz joined us for several days and helped Rojas guide us through many agricultural operations and crop production scenarios. These included shade grown coffee, palm hearts plantations, banana plantations, pineapple farms, cassava production and dairy farms. I can say at all these stops the theme of Environmental Respect was clearly evident. Jen and I especially enjoyed meeting one of Mainor’s customers, Carlos Enrique Vargas Ulate. Ulate reminded me in so many ways of the growers with whom I have the privilege to call on every day. Straight forward and honest with a genuine desire to steward the land on which he lives and works. The connections we made with these folks are extremely valuable and ones which I look forward to maintaining.

It is a small world, but also one very much in need of the positive message of Environmental Respect. We will never forget the time we spent in Costa Rica and look forward to sharing more good news about agriculture through this program.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Costa Rica Tour: It’s A Small World After All

  1. Congrats again to Willard Agri-Service for winning the 2011 Environmental Respect Award!

    Your commitment to the Ag Retail industry has always been and remains outstanding.

    A bright future remains for Willard Agri-Service.

Stewardship Stories

StewardshipOgallala Aquifer At Risk
September 4, 2015
The Ogallala Aquifer, with total water storage capacity about equal to that of Lake Huron in the Midwest, is the Read More
Valley Irrigation variable rate irrigation
StewardshipNebraska Getting Water Conservation Right
September 4, 2015
A precipitation map of Nebraska looks startlingly like a rainbow, with each colored band marking a different level of rainfall. Read More
StewardshipBee Buffer Strip Initiative Seeks 100 Ohio Farmers
August 31, 2015
The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, an initiative of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), Burt’s Bees and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Read More
CPS Morenci receiving its 4R certification
StewardshipCPS Morenci Becomes First Michigan Facility Certified In 4R Nutrient Stewardship
August 31, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Crop Production Services, Inc.’s facility located in Morenci, MI, has been Read More
Top 100 Articles
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
Latest News
StewardshipOgallala Aquifer At Risk
September 4, 2015
The Ogallala Aquifer, with total water storage capacity about equal to that of Lake Huron in the Midwest, is the Read More
Valley Irrigation variable rate irrigation
StewardshipNebraska Getting Water Conservation Right
September 4, 2015
A precipitation map of Nebraska looks startlingly like a rainbow, with each colored band marking a different level of rainfall. Read More
Crop InputsBayer CropScience: A Decade Of Innovation
September 3, 2015
BLAMS! It’s not a sound effect from the pages of a Superhero comic book. Instead this nifty acronym is used Read More
ManagementReviewing MAGIE 2015
September 2, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks what he saw at the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show. Read More
Melissa Olds Dow AgroSciences
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Highlighting The Past, Present & …
September 2, 2015
In general, media events held by large agricultural suppliers tend to focus primarily on what plans the company has in Read More
Mobile tablet
OpinionTaking Data Head On
September 2, 2015
As you read this column, I’m hoping that if you picked up the phone and gave me a call, you’d Read More
Young soybean field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Announces New Business Unit Head For…
September 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America announces the addition of Rico Christensen, Business Unit Head, North America. Christensen will have responsibility for Read More
Wilbur Ellis Pink Soybean Seed Treatment
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Goes Pink With Soybean Seed Treatments For…
September 1, 2015
This past year, proceeds of pink-dyed soybeans treated and sold to Wilbur-Ellis seed customers in Chester, SD, went to two Read More
SprayersNORAC Active Wing Roll Slated For More Sprayers
September 1, 2015
NORAC Systems, a member of the Topcon Positioning Group, announces the release of Active Wing Roll for RoGator, Apache, New Read More
Syngenta Sign
FungicidesSyngenta’s Newest Fungicide Receives EPA Approval
September 1, 2015
Syngenta announced today that its newest succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicide – Solatenol – has received registration from EPA and Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
Crop InputsDelaying The Fertilizer Decision
September 1, 2015
Comments gathered from several retailers recently evidenced a classic good-news-bad-news scenario. Good news is prices and supplies of nitrogen, phosphate, Read More
StewardshipBee Buffer Strip Initiative Seeks 100 Ohio Farmers
August 31, 2015
The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, an initiative of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), Burt’s Bees and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Read More
2015 ShowStopper Award, MAGIE
EquipmentA ShowStopper From Case IH: The Patriot 2250
August 31, 2015
For nine years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with not only Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, FMC Expand Roundup Ready PLUS Platform
August 31, 2015
FMC Corp. and Monsanto Co. announced today an expanded agreement to continue their participation in the Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Read More
Deere Nutrient Applicator
Eric SfiligojThe Good & Bad News From MAGIE
August 31, 2015
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries (MAGIE) trade show in Bloomington, IL. Read More
CPS Morenci receiving its 4R certification
StewardshipCPS Morenci Becomes First Michigan Facility Certified I…
August 31, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Crop Production Services, Inc.’s facility located in Morenci, MI, has been Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Soucy Track Distribution Alliance
August 28, 2015
John Deere announces an alliance with Soucy Track to sell and distribute products through the John Deere dealer channel. “This Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More