Agriculture: The Next Generation

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As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, I have a two-year-old son named Cole. Now that he’s turned two, Cole has become very imitative, copying many of my actions around the house or in the yard. Naturally, this fills me with a sense of pride, and I hope as he ages, my son can learn other life lessons from me, perhaps one day following in my footsteps to educate or inform groups of people with his words and/or deeds.

I’ve also seen this sense of pride and desire to pass on accumulated wisdom among ag retailers. Recently, our magazine held its annual Environmental Respect Awards competition, honoring those dealerships and cooperatives that have shown exceptional effort with their stewardship responsibilities. Reading over many of the entry forms, I was struck by how many of these retailers say their environmentally-friendly programs are motivated more by a desire to pass on knowledge to the nation’s next generations than an opportunity to keep legislators and environmentalists at bay.

“Ag Valley Coop is one of the few businesses in the area that is investing in our future for generations to come – and doing it right, environmentally-friendly,” wrote Darrell Fellows, agronomy division manager for Ag Valley Coop, Edison, NE.

A similar comment came from James Reed, branch manager for Helena Chemical Co. in Burkburnett, TX. “We can educate our customers and employees to be aware of their actions,” wrote Reed. “Therefore, [we are] safeguarding the future of our families, whether involved in the farming community or otherwise.”

Finally, there was this statement from Drew Gaudet, manager/sales for Crop Production Services in Thibodaux, LA – made all the more meaningful considering what’s happening in the Gulf of Mexico right now. “As long as everyone follows safety of products, they will assure the environment is safe and protected for future generations,” he wrote.

As someone who considers himself environmentally-friendly and a father, I am touched by these ag retailers and their efforts to protect and educate future generations. These noble goals are ones the world could use more of – regardless of the industry or situation involved.

Sfiligoj is the Editor for both CropLife and CropLife IRON magazines. He travels regularly to cover industry events and has been dedicated to the ag retail industry since he joined the staff in 2000.

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