Just more than a month ago, NAICC celebrated its 40th anniversary at the 2018 annual meeting in sunny Tucson, Ariz. Upon my return, I was reminded that it was still winter in the Bootheel of Missouri. Fear not, it will be miserably hot soon, and we’ll all be waist-deep in crops.
For those of you unable to attend the annual meeting, you missed out on the largest meeting NAICC has ever had. In total, 734 individuals registered. This shatters the old record of 701 registered for the 2017 meeting in St. Louis.
Our time in Tucson was packed with interesting meetings including a dicamba drift and volatilization update, insect resistance workshop and a session focused on communicating ag to those not involved in agriculture [more on pages 24-26 in a story written by Margy Eckelkamp]. Robert Saik, founder of Agri-Trend, delivered a timely keynote address titled “Know GMO.” The program included much more and certainly had something for everyone. You’re invited to look at the presentations from the 2018 annual meeting online at http://naicc.org/2018-annual-meeting. The speakers and topics discussed were outstanding, and we appreciate the support of our industry partners in making this meeting a success.
Our trade show at the annual meeting, The Ag Pro Expo, is always a highlight. The 74 exhibitors provided attendees with timely information on the products and services available to crop and research consultants. We could not do what we do for our members without the support of our friends at Farm Journal and the great folks with AgPro, which were represented by Doug Catt, publisher; Margy Eckelkamp, editor; and Rick Bloom, inside sales manager.
NAICC also saw two more participants graduate from the leadership program: Amalia Easton and Bree Goldschmidt. The program begins and ends with the NAICC annual meeting, which constitutes modules I and IV of the experience.
Participants meet with the leadership committee and past participants of the program, take part in committee meetings and assist the NAICC Foundation for Environmental Agriculture Education with fundraisers. Module II takes place in Washington, D.C., where individuals participate in Capitol Hill meetings and the Crawfish Boil on the Hill. During module III, participants visit NAICC members for networking visits, which take place with members both within and outside of the participants’ areas of expertise.
TOP POLICY WORK
The annual meeting starts off our activities for the year, and as spring approaches, NAICC continues to be active. The NAICC board and the governmental affairs committee will be conducting Capitol Hill visits, meeting with key commodity groups and hosting the 21st Annual Crawfish Boil on the Hill, March 14, 2018. The main issues NAICC will be discussing include the worker protection standard (WPS), neonicotinoid insecticides, Pesticide Registration Improvement Act 4 and the upcoming farm bill. WPS is an important issue as recent changes to WPS caused certified crop consultants to lose their exemption to determine appropriate personal protective equipment for their employees when entering an active restricted-entry interval. We feel losing this flexibility will make performing many integrated pest management activities difficult if not impossible in some cases. Therefore, NAICC will continue its request for this regulation to be rolled back to its previous form and allow certified crop consultants to retain their exemption for their employees. We look forward to a great week on Capitol Hill in March.