Question: What do you think is the biggest public misconception about agriculture? How would you help to fix it?
Throughout my career, I have challenged organizations to better understand the vital link between respecting the environment while also working to ensure long-term viability and relevance. Without healthy soil, clean water and air, farmers would not be able to produce healthy and abundant food, fiber and renewable fuel. Public perception of farmers’ environmental stewardship practices are clouded by misinformation, and I work to promote the vital work growers do to protect the resources they heavily rely upon for their livelihood. Farmers know that sustainable practices, such as precision agriculture, integrated pest management and the use of crop protection products enable future generations of growers to supply the world’s rapidly growing population with sufficient food while optimizing natural resources.
My sharing of ideas and new findings related to the “greening” of organizations has always been a vital aspect of my professional life. Meetings, conferences and internal presentations were always viewed by me as a perfect opportunity to expand the current organizational culture beyond the existing business model toward an active embracement of environmentalism. This informal mechanism of communication was instrumental in allowing me numerous opportunities to push for change, and I jumped at any chance to indulge my “activist” side by sharing with my colleagues a deeper understanding of our organization’s impact on the environment.