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

Trending Articles

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
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

EquipmentAgraScout App Available At No Cost To Universities
October 21, 2014
AgraScout, a fast and easy to use mobile crop scouting app, is now available at no cost to University students, Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Program To Provide Relief To Farmers Affe…
October 21, 2014
The USDA has implemented a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. Read More
ManagementGreenfield Scholars Program Aims To Sustain Agronomy Wo…
October 21, 2014
The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. Read More
Paul SchrimpfPrecision Ag: Taking It To The Hill
October 21, 2014
A new coalition took the good news message of precision agriculture to Washington, DC, last month. Read More
ManagementUSDA Awards $18 Million In Small Business Research Gran…
October 21, 2014
The grants will provide high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Terminates Merger Discussions With Yara I…
October 21, 2014
CF Industries Holdings and Yara International have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Ranked A Top 10 Biotech Employer For Third tim…
October 20, 2014
Syngenta ranked in the top 10 among the world’s top biotech employers, according to an annual survey conducted by Science magazine. Read More
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Break Ground For New Facility At Kennebec
October 20, 2014
Wheat Growers has broke ground for a state-of-the-art shuttle loader grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Kennebec, SD. Read More
FertilizerVerdesian Life Sciences Signs Agreement With Los Alamos…
October 20, 2014
Verdesian Life Sciences has signed a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop and market LANL’s latest nitrogen enhancement technology for plants. Read More
MicronutrientsStoller Group Announces Groundbreaking At New Office Bu…
October 20, 2014
Jerry Stoller, founder and president of Stoller Group, announced the groundbreaking at the site of the company’s future headquarters in Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Opens New Production Facility In Nevada
October 20, 2014
BioSafe Systems has completed construction of a state-of-art production facility in Sparks, NV, for its line of activated peroxygen products. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScien…
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
Seed/BiotechEPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Duo Herbicide
October 15, 2014
The Enlist Weed Control System, breakthrough technology to fight resistant and tough weeds, has received the long-awaited green light from federal regulatory authorities. Read More
MicronutrientsGypsum On Farms Could Help Keep Water Clean, Not Green
October 14, 2014
Gypsum, which has roots in the past as a farm soil treatment, also may have a bright future, and not just as a booster of crops but also as a protector of water. Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Crop InputsVerdesian Grows Sales Staff
October 14, 2014
The new account managers will drive sales growth and support relationships with key customers in the plant nutrition and seed treatment and inoculants product categories. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
October 14, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Purchases Six Grain Elevators, Four Agron…
October 14, 2014
The Andersons has acquired Auburn Bean and Grain of Auburn, MI, which will increase the storage capacity of its Grain Group by about 13%. Read More
StewardshipThree Ohio Ag Retailers Honored With 4R Certification
October 13, 2014
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced its first three agriculture nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More