Question: How does your job support modern agriculture in America?
I have been active in the agricultural community since 1993, and my current title is senior procurement specialist. My division is responsible for the Seed Crop Portfolio which is currently inclusive of soybeans, cotton, rice, wheat and canola. As a company, we are striving on a daily basis to bring the highest quality seed and traits to the global marketplace in an effort to feed and clothe the world in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner. In our efforts, we have been working diligently to provide new and innovative traits and varieties to the marketplace that will maximize yield and product quality while maintaining or decreasing the level of direct inputs required for the crop to develop into a harvestable commodity.
I am lucky in the fact that prior to my current position I was also involved in the distribution channel for multiple lines of crop seed stock and crop protection products and brands as a retailer in the panhandle of West Texas. So, I was well-versed in the benefits of modern farming practices and the added value that improved genetics and crop protection products brought to the table. During this time, I was also involved in a startup company that introduced GIS based farm management and satellite guidance systems for mechanized farm equipment. Through these practices we were able to develop systems that led to “on the fly” application management so that crop inputs could be used with maximum efficiency which led directly to reduced operational costs and increased yields. While I was not engaged in organic production, I was a big proponent of no-till practices and designing tool bars or implements that would perform multiple functions in a single pass. The reduced operational cost played a large part in my ability to sustain a profitable farming practice in West Texas with a less than desirable water table to support the crop development.
I look forward to the future events that are yet to come in agriculture and am appreciative of organizations, such as CropLife America, that are proactively engaging misconceptions in the marketplace and providing well-written informational pieces for the education and benefit of consumers.