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Agrimarketing : Crop Life America
30 AgriMarketing CropLife America Supplement AM: What is CLA's largest success? JV: We've built a "big tent" in reach- ing out to a wide array of allies to both articulate the benefits of crop protection products and gather broad support to defend our industry's products from unwarranted regula- tion and legislation. The ag chem industry is not big enough by itself to do this work alone, and CLA has pro- vided the industry the place to come together to work side-by-side in sup- port of science-based technology. We have an ag coalition in Washington, D.C., second to no other industry. All this has led to CLA con- tributing to our members' freedom to operate in a more predictable regula- tory environment. AM: What is the Crop Protection industry's single biggest challenge? JV: Hard to single out one challenge --- today, and in recent years, it surely is the threat to our pesticide registra- tion system from a court-imposed rendition of the Endangered Species Act. Ten years ago, it was food safety and pesticide residues. Telling our story to policy makers who represent a public that does not understand what we do is our biggest challenge, and it manifests itself in a wide range of strategic and tactical policy matters. AM: How does CLA interact with federal regulators and policy makers? JV: By monitoring the activities and plans of regulatory agencies, attend- ing public meetings of these agencies and participating on advisory com- mittees created by the agencies. We try to maintain a close working rela- tionship with officials at the EPA, USDA, Dept. of Interior and other agencies as appropriate. At the same time, we meet regu- larly with Members of Congress and their staffs as well as committee staffs to communicate our position on issues of the day. We of course testify regularly before Congressional Commit- tees. And CLA has an active and long respected political action committee that provides resources to support Congressional candidates who align themselves with science-based regu- lation of industries like ours. We often are proposing legislation for consideration by Congress and actively opposing legislation we view as threatening. We've increasingly used the courts ourselves as a means to "make policy," both by initiating litigation against government agencies and by intervening in cases brought by oth- ers to attempt to interject our think- ing into the court decisions. AM: How does CLA interact with others in the ag industry? JV: We communicate frequently with allied organizations, work with them on coalition efforts, and invite them to CLA meetings to maintain our dia- logue with them on issues. We meet regularly with a number of other Washington-based associa- tions through a Commodity Coffee we established several years ago to exchange information on matters of mutual interest. We look for places where our interests directly overlap with these allied organizations and strive to multiply our efforts by joining forces. AM: What type of activities will CLA be involved in, in ten years? JV: CLA will still be a strong advo- cacy arm for the pesticide manufac- turers, distributors and formulators which make up our industry. We will continue to bring plant science solu- tions to the attention of policymakers and the public in support of produc- tion agriculture. We'll continue to use more cre- ative means to reach our audiences. A decade from now, the use of elec- tronic communications will be even more dominant and access to data and policy information will be much more instantaneous. In ten years' time, our industry will have come forward with even more amazing technology innova- tions, better serving farmers than we can imagine today --- and the public will be even "farther away" from the farm --- thus making the challenge of keeping logic and science the basis of the regulation of technology even more challenging than it is today! AM: Your summary comments? JV: Ours is a mature industry, but one that is still a strong and vibrant seg- ment of American agriculture. Our members continue to be a forward looking, innovative group of companies. They have an amazing capacity to deal with complex issues in the farmer 's field and in the court of public opinion. They will continue to amaze those who understand these contributions, and confound those who do not. Crop protection will continue to evolve, and serve farmers and food consumers everywhere. We at CropLife America are proud to repre- sent a phenomenal industry that still has its best days ahead. AM Name: Jay Vroom Title: Pres/CEO CropLife America (CLA) Career: Prior to joining CLA in 1989, he had served in executive management for the National Fertilizer Solutions Association, Merchants Exchange, and The Fertilizer Institute. Education: Graduated with honors from the University of Illinois' College of Agriculture. OUR DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY! : CROPLIFE AMERICA
January February 2008