Some of you reading this right now grow Conventional Biotech crops. Or non-GMO. Some of you grow organically. Some of you have big farms; some of you have small ones. Some of you raise livestock; some of you raise grain.
Some of you drink Pepsi and some of you drink Coke. Some of you drive Chevys, some of you Fords.
Grower, meet your teammates.
More important than the differences among us is a single similarity: we are agriculture in the United States. And it’s high time that we stop cutting one another down.
We as a whole face two tremendous challenges:
1) we face the collective challenge of raising 70% more food to feed a growing and increasingly affluent world population over the next three decades, and 2) right, wrong or indifferent; that population demands choices in how the food they eat is produced.
I doubt that I need to make the case to you that both challenges will be difficult to win, nor that it is imperative that we win both.
The only path that leads us to these accomplishments is the one we traverse together. And it will be when we come to trust each other that the consumer market might come to trust us.
Speaking of that consumer market, by the way: consumers have an astonishing variety of preferences. Some of them stop at McDonalds on their way home from work every night. Some shop at Whole Foods. Some are vegans, or vegetarians, or pescatarians, or locavores. Some only eat steak and potatoes.
And whatever you believe about food doesn’t matter. You’re not going to change their minds.
Which means that there is always a need. Which means that there is always an opportunity.
For example: a certain segment of the market prefers their food to be organic and/or non-GMO. Whether you agree with or share this preference or not, the important fact of their situation is this: the vast majority of organic corn in the US is imported. Whether you agree with or share their preference or not, there is an opportunity here. A demand in need of a more easily available supply.
Part of my argument is philosophical and part of it is very practical. Perhaps you find one piece more appealing than the other and that’s okay. The fact of the matter is Consumer choice brings market opportunity and denying that undermines our progress. I want to see our industry of agriculture (which is also our livelihood and legacy to boot) move forward, onward, and upward to meet the very real challenges that lie ahead.
As a company we are making an effort to support, build and innovate into new markets for the good of all the producers in Central Valley Ag country. Just in the past few weeks we have brought on Dale Broekemeir as Director of Specialty Grains and Carson Watt to as a merchandiser of Specialty Grains to help support the White Corn, Non-GMO and Organic grain markets. If you are already growing or are interested in entering this market talk to these two gentlemen to get a feel what that space looks like.
I’m not telling you to change. I’m asking you to keep an open mind. That grower you know who does it differently than you do? Don’t fight him, friend. He’s on your team