Bayer Crop Science is giving legislators the opportunity to trade in dress pants for denim, by providing farms just minutes away from their office. Rob Schrick, Bayer CropScience strategic business lead for North America, is working with growers to have an inaugural farm outside of Washington, D.C., and eventually Sacramento to show lawmakers real farming practices.
“A lot of these folks that are writing laws for us in ag have never been on a farm,” Schrick said. “These are the very people that work every day towards California laws and regulations on farms that they have never seen.”
This will give lawmakers a taste of the work farmers in our state do every day. Although the San Joaquin Valley is the heart of agriculture, the key is a convenience for the government, which is why they are looking to the Sacramento area for their next farm, explained Schrick.
“Let’s get them out there and showcase the growers using technology in an everyday environment,” Schrick said.
Farmers Willing to Adapt Farming Practices for Regulators
By Laurie Greene, Editor
With increased scrutiny of the agriculture industry’s use of resources, growers must be proactive about their farming practices, and according to Roger Isom, president and ceo of Western Agricultural Processors Association, farmers are willing to adapt.
Isom noted how receptive growers are to improving their farming techniques. “One of the best examples I have for conservation management practices addresses air quality. Air quality regulators say we’ve got to put water on the back of tillage disks to suppress dust and to schedule no-farming days,” he said. “Wait a minute,” he added, “let’s get in a room and talk about what you want to do! You want to lower emissions? Well, farmers can combine practices and thereby lower emissions and save fuel and labor. And, we’ll do it!”
Isom said farmers appreciate incentive programs. “If I can get some money to help pay for it,” said Isom, “I’ll do it much sooner. There is nobody out there who doesn’t want a new tractor or truck to meet the mandated specifications; but if you provide some help, they will do it much sooner.”
“Growers and consumers each want the same things—a healthy environment and good produce,” he said. “You just have to sit down together and find solutions. The last thing we want is a food recall. Again, if we sit down in a room with scientists and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and develop agricultural guidance specific to each crop, farmers will be more amenable to adapt recommendations into practice,” Isom said.