I know that probably sounded like Batman and Robin, but I think what you may have heard was the court of public opinion. Just when the ag sector hoped things would quiet down in the Lake Erie Basin, farmers are actually hearing more disturbing reports of regulation.
Survey results from a new Ohio poll, funded by Healthy Lakes, were released just this week showing a majority of Ohio voters are in favor mandatory regulations on farmers to protect the state’s rivers, streams and lakes. According to the Healthy Lakes organization, “this [survey] reveals a broad desire [by Ohio voters] for the [Ohio] state government to take immediate action to stop polluted farm run-off from getting into Lake Erie and other waterways.”
In this survey 64% of Ohio residents say they prefer that “the new state standards to prevent pollution from farm run-off be mandatory, with all farmers required to meet the standards.”
Who will help farmers with all of the regulations? If you have read more than a couple of my postings, you know it is clear to me. I think it must be ag retailers who help farmers.
So you are probably asking yourself, why does Tom (that’s me) declare ag retailers the anointed ones? Why do I think ag retailers are the “go to” organization? That answer is simple. Study after study demonstrates farmers implicitly trusts their ag retailers. Farmers don’t name their local extension agent as their most trusted advisor. They don’t name NGO’s like Corn Growers Association, Farm Bureau, or The Nature Conservancy as their most trusted advisor. And, they certainly don’t name conservation agencies as their most trusted advisors. Over and over, farmers name their ag retailers as their most trusted advisors.
Given this, who do you think farmers will be expecting help from when regulations hit? Yes, you got it, their ag retailers. So, if you are an ag retailer what is going to be your solution?
Holy Edison! You’re a whiz, Batman.
It is time for ag retailers to start taking this seriously. If they wait until there their customers actually face regulation they will behind the eight ball and scrambling to catch up. Ag retailers need to get involved. They need to start identifying the sustainability technology they will be using to help their farmer customers. In next week’s blog, I will be unveiling Agren’s new sustainability package; the Easy Button for ag retailers.