“And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, 'I need a caretaker.' So God made a farmer.”
So began the now famous speech delivered by the late legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey to the 1978 Future Farmers of America convention. The speech gained nationwide attention when it was used in a two-minute ad for Dodge Ram in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl in 2013. The “God Made a Farmer” ad was one of the most popular in the Super Bowl that year.
Harvey’s speech came to mind after I tuned into a virtual auxin training session delivered by North Carolina State University Extension Weed Specialist Charlie Cahoon, who noted in the training that not one single complaint of damage to off-target crops was reported to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture last year from the use of auxin herbicides. Not one complaint.
This important statistic illustrates what we have known all along. North Carolina farmers are indeed good stewards of the new technology. That’s no surprise. Time and time again farmers, in North Carolina and elsewhere, have proven they are good stewards of the land.
From safely using auxin herbicides, to using conservation-tillage practices to protect the land, to taking every step they can to care for the environment as they produce food, fuel and fiber, farmers truly are the caretakers of God’s planned paradise that Paul Harvey so eloquently spoke of at that FFA convention 43 years ago.
The mandatory auxin training held annually since 2017 certainly worked in educating farmers on safely using auxins to tolerant soybeans and cotton. But it goes beyond that. North Carolina farmers who use the system have shown they are good stewards of the technology, thus the news that there wasn’t a single official complaint of off-target damage last year. In essence, most farmers and applicators are being careful when they apply auxins and other pesticides.
The mandatory training continues this year and once again North Carolina farmers will be applying the auxins to control weeds in soybeans and cotton. And this year, as in years past, most will be good and careful stewards of the technology. After all, they are the caretakers of God’s planned paradise.