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
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
StewardshipBayer Lands Honor For Bee Care Center, Other Initiatives
June 3, 2014
Bayer Corp. has been named a 2014 Responsible Care Company of the Year by the American Chemistry Council, thanks in large part to its Drive Toward Zero initiative and North American Bayer Bee Care Center. Read More
StewardshipStrip-Tillage: A Sustainable Effort
March 3, 2014
As sustainable agriculture grows in popularity, interest in custom strip-tillage is growing. Read More
Top 100 Articles
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Winter Wheat
CropLife 100South Dakota Co-op Member Owners Vote No On Unification
June 26, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have announced that member-owners have voted Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
Latest News
Agworld Apple Watch Farm Management
EquipmentAussie Data Management Software Company Making Its Mark…
July 4, 2015
Zach Sheely, vice president of sales and operations, says that several large, well-known U.S. cooperatives (Stanislaus Farm Supply, Wilco-Winfield and Read More
Topcon AGI-4 on MF Planter
EquipmentAutosteer: Compatibility, Accuracy Remain Top Of Mind
July 3, 2015
The world of automatic steering solutions in agriculture has evolved rapidly in the last few years. From after-market add-ons that Read More
ManagementUnited Suppliers/Land ‘O Lakes Merger & Crop Update
July 2, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the reasons behind the United Suppliers/Land ‘O Lakes merger and USDA’s recent Read More
Industry NewsBioSafe Adds To Sales Force
July 2, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the hire of two new members for its service team. David Britt recently joined the team Read More
Chesapeake Bay
ManagementChesapeake Bay Clean-Up Gets Renewed Attention
July 2, 2015
The Chesapeake Bay has been called one of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. It’s also one of Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
ManagementBulk Pesticide Compliance: Top 10 Areas Of Improvement …
July 1, 2015
  In honor of the 33-year run of David Letterman’s Late Show, the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) is happy Read More
Industry NewsArysta North America Hires Midwest Sales Manager
July 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the hiring of Brian Battles as the Senior Technical Sales Manager for the Midwest Read More
Farmer on tablet
Eric SfiligojThe Never-Ending Battle Against Modern Agriculture
July 1, 2015
In the world of comic books, the character of Superman often refers to the fight to save the world as Read More
Retail FacilitiesBuilding Up Ag Retail
July 1, 2015
In the oftentimes unpredictable world we live in, it’s nice to know some things can be reliably countered on to Read More
Retail FacilitiesMaple River Grain And Agronomy Phases In Site Developme…
July 1, 2015
Marcus Construction helped Maple River Grain and Agronomy in Casselton, ND, with the design-build of its dry fertilizer, liquid chemical/seed Read More
Retail FacilitiesA&B Welding Builds A New Liquid Terminal Hub For Br…
July 1, 2015
To build its new hub facility, Briggs Crop Nutrients enlisted the help of A&B Welding. The result, an efficient facility Read More
Edon Farmers Co-op
Retail FacilitiesNew Marcus Facility At Edon Farmers Co-op Provides More…
July 1, 2015
Edon Farmers Co-Op in Edon, OH, needed a new facility to consolidate outdated locations. Marcus Construction was able to design Read More
Retail FacilitiesKinder Morgan Expands Its Storage With A New Dome Barre…
July 1, 2015
Kinder Morgan wanted additional covered storage at its Dakota Bulk Terminal on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. With Read More
Retail FacilitiesHeartland Tank Protects Fertilizer From Extreme Cold At…
July 1, 2015
The Arthur Companies in Harvey, ND, enlisted the help of Heartland Tank Companies to develop a new liquid fertilizer facility Read More
The McGregor Co. fertilizer loadout
Retail FacilitiesThe McGregor Co. Partners With Kahler Automation To Cre…
June 30, 2015
Kahler Automation helped The McGregor Co. expand its Clarkston, WA, operation with unstaffed loadout technology that enables customers to pick Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Helps CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative Build…
June 30, 2015
CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative in Mooreton, ND, wanted a liquid/dry blender system that could meet the needs of its customers Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes, United Suppliers To Merge Crop Inpu…
June 29, 2015
Land O’Lakes, Inc. and United Suppliers, Inc. of Ames, IA, today announced their intent to merge their crop inputs businesses. Read More
FungicidesHelena To Distribute Unique Summit Agro Fungicide
June 29, 2015
RANMAN 400 SC fungicide, the only fungicide with a FRAC group 21 designation, is now part of the innovative Summit Read More