Morocco Tour 2010: Education And Enchantment

It’s doubtful that Mike Wilson, area marketing coordinator Wabash Valley Service Center, saw himself riding camels or witnessing tomato plants grafted to pumpkin rootstocks when he submitted his Environmental Respect Awards entry form last spring for Wabash Valley’s Browns, IL, facility. A trip to D.C. in the summer, maybe, but Morocco?

In 2004 DuPont and ERA partners CropLife® and Farm Chemicals International magazines added a global wrinkle to promote international environmental stewardship. The international winners, Ambassadors of Respect, would come to the U.S. in July to collect their awards along with the U.S. regional winners. Then, representatives of the national Environmental Respect Award-winning organization would visit one of the international winners the following spring.

AGRIMATCO’s Moroccan organization got the nod to host the contingent from the U.S. after collecting its Ambassador of Respect award last July. This meant that Wabash Valley representatives Mike Wilson, General Manager Todd Neibel, and Marketing Manager Allen Rusk (and wives Amy and Lori) along with DuPont’s Retail Account Manager Charlie Stuempke packed up and headed out for a week of new adventures in northwestern Africa. My wife Shelley and I rounded out the crew of eight, and taking very good care of us was tour professional Khadija and driver Abdel. Abdel was so skilled a bus driver that Mike wanted him driving fuel trucks for Wabash Valley!

Our trip was a 50/50 blend of agriculture and historic culture, with a constant panorama of rural life tossed in as we made our way by bus from Casablanca to Marrakech to Agadir. In industrial Casablanca, we toured AGRIMATCO’s warehouse and saw photos of their new facilities. We also toured the Hassan II mosque — one of the largest mosques in the world — beautifully crafted with all Moroccan wood, stone, and tile work.

Marrakech in mid-week found us knee-deep in citrus groves, apple orchards, and vegetable crops. When we weren’t sight-seeing and sampling locally grown produce, we were in crowded market places, such as the Djemma el Fna square, teeming with musicians, food vendors, and snake charmers.

Week’s end found us in the coastal city of Agadir, a very modern and host city to many European beach vacationers. It was outside of Agadir where we spent an afternoon at AGRIMATCO’s experimental station, donning gowns, hats, and rubber gloves as we negotiated insect-preventing, screened-in mazes between greenhouse after greenhouse. It was worth it to see the vegetables and technology employed to boost production and get early-to-market prices in Morocco and many parts of Europe.

In one of the greenhouses we watched a technician graft a young tomato plant to a pumpkin’s rootstock, taking advantage of the pumpkin’s more hardy and superior nutrient delivery system. It wasn’t all educational because we sampled melons and peppers fresh off the vines.

The experiment station tour capped a wonderful week in Morocco. All of us were grateful for AGRIMATCO’s time and hospitality and are ready to reciprocate should they want a closer look at Midwestern agriculture in the future.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

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

Seed/BiotechMonsanto Named One Of The World’s Best Multinational …
October 23, 2014
Monsanto ranked No. 8 in the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence that identifies the top 25 best multinational companies in terms of workplace culture. Read More
Crop InputsArysta Hires Former Agri-Chem, CPS Employee For Delta S…
October 23, 2014
New Territory Sales Manager Mark Peel’s primary role will focus on working with growers regarding fungicides in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Appointments In Plant Food Division
October 22, 2014
GROWMARK, Inc. has announced the three key staff changes in its Plant Food Division. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Appoints New VP Of Finance And Risk Management
October 22, 2014
Wade Mittelstadt has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Financial and Risk Mangement, effective December 1, 2014. Read More
FungicidesEPA Approves BASF In-Furrow Corn Fungicide
October 22, 2014
Field trials show Xanthion In-furrow fungicide provides more rapid emergence, extended residual control and improved seedling health than untreated crops. Read More
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