By Trey Cooke
Delta Wildlife & Delta FARM
Today I look forward to joining my friends at Monsanto as they are awarded the prestigious Gulf Guardian Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency later tonight at the Gulf of Mexico Alliance meeting in Tampa, FL. Just like everyone else, our table in the reception hall will be filled with environmental advocates and those who are keenly focused on sustainability each and every day they go to work. However, there will be a major distinction. Those seated at our table are also from the agricultural sector.
Allied ag companies are working harder than many to ensure a more sustainable future. They know that growing global population will demand more food, but the natural resources required to produce it are limited and, in some cases, shrinking. Then how can this task be accomplished? Produce more with less.
This concept has been embraced by Monsanto as they have begun to aggressively advance ideas that make us all better stewards of our limited resources. Through the science of research and technology, farmers are now producing more with fewer pesticides, less fertilizer and less demand on water resources. And the divergence of inputs to outputs are growing each year as new science and technology is adopted. Monsanto’s investment is making an impact on water quality up and down the Mississippi River basin.
Agriculture seems to receive more than its share of less than flattering press, when in fact it is doing as much, if not more, to find balance between our environment and the demands we humans place upon it. It’s is an exciting day indeed as I watch a member of the agricultural sector receive an environmental achievement award by those whom regulate it. To me, this is the ultimate accolade.
Tonight will be full of well deserved pats on the back, and I want to be the first to congratulate Monsanto on receiving the Gulf Guardian Award. But the bright lights of the reception hall will eventually dim, as will the media blitz following the awards ceremony. But even then I know that Monsanto and many others in the ag sector will continue to wake up every day to champion a philosophy of sustainability for everyone.
Trey Cooke is the executive director of Delta Wildlife & Delta F.A.R.M., Stoneville, Miss., who are partnering with Monsanto, the National Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy on the Mississippi River Basin Project.