Fads & Fundamentals

If you are a regular reader of this column, you know that I love taking walks down memory lane. There’s something about looking at the past and seeing how it might and does affect the present that holds an undeniable appeal for me.

Recently returning from a business trip, I happened upon an article in USA Today listing some long-gone items that once were fixtures in everyday life. This included Betamax units, New Coke, the Soviet Union, and “big hair” bands. Despite the fact that all of these things at one time were big in their respective ways, they will most likely be regulated to “fad” status in the eyes of future historians.

Thankfully, no where on this list did the environmental movement appear. I’m happy to say this trend seems to fit more comfortably under the “fundamentals” heading in historical terms. Given that this magazine’s Environmental Respect Awards program — covered elsewhere in this issue — is celebrating its 17th anniversary this year attests to this fact.

Of course, there was a time when this wasn’t the case. I attended a “Fu­ture Trends” seminar back in the early 1990s when environmental stewardship and recycling were just becoming popular. A speaker at the event said he believed these trends would prove to be “temporary fads” because “people and businesses don’t want to be bothered with separating their garbage. They just want to throw things away.”

I remember thinking at the time how narrow and old-fashioned a view this seemed of environmental stewardship, which offered such promise for a brighter future. Luckily, based upon this year’s Environmental Respect Awards competition entries, there are many, many ag retailers that feel exactly the same way as I do about the environmental movement.

“The environment is not some static, impersonal, lifeless thing which we can use, abuse, and then throw away when we are through with it,” wrote one retailer in their entry booklet. “Ra­ther, it is more like a living, breathing creature which we must feed, water, nurture, and tend it so that it will last our lifetime, and many lifetimes to come.”

I served as a judge for the 2007 Environmental Respect Awards competition, and I can tell you that this sentiment was present in virtually all the entries we received, in one form or another.

Even more impressive, many entrants backed up these words with actions. Several wrote that they had reached out to their local communities to help with stewardship and recycling efforts. One even went so far as to take environmental responsibility where it was not at fault.

“Land adjoining the property had trifluralin contamination in the soil, but was not part of our target property,” wrote the retailer. “We felt that this contamination site was an eyesore and reflected poorly on [us], even though we didn’t own it. Being neighbors with a contaminated site was not the image that [we] wanted to reflect. The right thing to do was to clean it up. So we did.”

Examples like this make me proud to say I work with the ag retail community. It’s nice to know that in this industry, the difference between short-term fads and business-altering fundamentals is clearly defined. And enthusiastically embraced. 

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More
ManagementTalking Responsible Ag
April 13, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the Responsible Ag program with director Bill Qualls. Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Crop InputsWhat do Roundup and Mickey Mouse Have in Common? Califo…
April 13, 2017
(SOURCE: East Valley Times) Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and many other weed killers, is being added Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSource: ChemChina to Divest Assets to Adama Following S…
April 11, 2017
China National Chemical Corp. plans to redistribute agrochemical assets to its Adama unit after the $43 billion takeover of Syngenta Read More
Farming drone air
Eric SfiligojThe Interest in UAVs for Agriculture Grows
April 10, 2017
At times, it seems as if experts have been predicting “big things” for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for several years Read More
OpinionOpinion: Taking On The Farmers Business Network
April 8, 2017
Well, another round of venture capital funding has come to Farmers Business Network (FBN), followed up with the obligatory feature Read More
Drone
EquipmentFarming Drones: The Future Of Agriculture?
April 7, 2017
Chances are, you already know drones are amazing. After all, this is something DroneLife readers just understand. But if you’re Read More
ManagementFMC-DuPont, Crop Plantings, and UAV Updates
April 6, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Jackie Pucci discuss the purchase agreement between DuPont and FMC, the 2017 crop acreage mix and Read More
Falcon soil sampler
EquipmentSerious Soil Sampling Rigs
April 6, 2017
The industry has seen an increase in automation in sampling equipment, and consultants now often pull cores with an automated Read More
Iowa waterways
FertilizerDow AgroSciences Recognizes Ag Retailers’ Role in Prote…
April 6, 2017
The state of Iowa and its agriculture community have worked for decades to preserve soil health, protect water quality and Read More
Farmer Scouting Weeds in Soybean Field
EquipmentSoil, Scouting Programs Continue To Gain Value
April 5, 2017
How much growers and their retailers utilize soil testing and scouting varies greatly. But they should step up their game Read More
Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision Ag6 Key Takeaways from Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
April 5, 2017
Advisory investment group The Mixing Bowl teamed up with Forbes for its New York-based event this year to discuss technology’s Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsQ&A With Pam Marrone On The World’s First All-Biolo…
April 4, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. and Israel-based Ground­work BioAg in February announced successful field trials of the world’s first all-biological comprehensive Read More
Corn soil
Crop NutritionBiostimulants Clamor For A Piece Of The Row Crop Market
April 3, 2017
The question these days isn’t who is venturing into biostimulants — it’s who isn’t. Or more to the point: The Read More