MFA Precision Agronomy Services and manager Rick Greene were the cover story in October CropLife magazine, a top ag-retail industry publication. Greene says both MFA's program and the precision industry has gone full circle in the last several years and talks about how MFA developed one of the top precision programs in the country. Read more here.
Rolling exhibit features phosphate education geared toward consumers
A couple times per year MFA managers gather in Columbia, Mo., to meet with agricultural product vendors. It’s a chance for the vendors to do a lot of business in one place, and it’s a chance for MFA managers to exert their collective buying power to bring the best prices they can to your retail store. This year at the Buyer’s Market, there was a unique visitor—The Mosaic Express. The Mosaic Express is a 42-foot rolling exhibit that shows the importance phosphate plays in not just agriculture, but in nutrition, manufacturing and the economy.
The motor-coach exhibit was designed and built with the intent to help educate people in Florida, home to some 70 percent of the nation’s phosphate rock supply. Jim Johnson, Mosaic Public Affairs Coordinator (and the guy who drives the bus) said that as the world’s top producer and marketer of phosphate and potash, Mosaic recognizes the need to inform the public about the necessity of the minerals for everyday living. Johnson said that while the exhibit was designed to travel in mining regions of Florida, its popularity has brought it to a wider audience.
“It’s designed and built to be accessible at a sixth-grade level,” Johnson said. “We’ve had 29,000 people through the exhibit in the first year and a half.”
And while you might think a rolling museum about basic minerals wouldn’t be that compelling, the custom, interactive exhibits engage visitors. Telling someone how phosphate affects their life might take a little background information, but Johnson said there is a way to know when you’ve done a good job.
“The word I hear most when people are leaving is ‘awesome’ from the kids. The adults just say, ‘I had no idea.’”
For more information visit http://www.microessentials.com/ .
Did you know ...?
• Almost 30 percent of farmers’ products in the U.S. are marketed through cooperatives.
• The majority of our country’s 2 million farmers are members of the nearly 3,000 farmer-owned cooperatives. They provide over 250 thousand jobs and annual wages of over $8 billion.
• More than 20 cooperatives have annual sales in excess of $1 billion.
• The Farm Credit System has 500,000 borrowers with a loan volume of $53.9 billion.
• Rural electric cooperatives operate more than half of the electric distribution lines in the United States and provide electricity for 25 million people.
• More than 50 million Americans are served by insurance companies owned by or closely affiliated with cooperatives.
• Retailer-owned food and hardware cooperatives make it possible for hundreds of independent store owners to successfully compete with large chains.
• Credit unions have more than 70 million members and assets in excess of $300 billion.
Cemetery at Rush Hill, Mo. is final resting place of MFA founder.
Rock Hill Cemetery near Rush Hill, Mo., is MFA organizer William Hirth’s final resting place. The remote cemetery is as peaceful as ever, but a little brighter thanks to a nearby farmer. With support from the MFA Charitable Foundation, local farmer Harry Riechers led an effort to replace an old woven-wire fence with a white three-rail ranch fence. The project was finished in late summer.
Hirth, who spent his youth near the cemetery, was a great leader of the cooperative movement in the Midwest. In 1908, Hirth started the Missouri Farmer and Breeder Magazine (which evolved over the years to become Today’s Farmer). Hirth saw the difficult times farms were going through in the early 20th Century and figured cooperative action the best way to bring farmers into the mainstream of “modern” life. He used his publication’s editorial platform to call for the formation of farm clubs. Eventually, he became the clearinghouse for farm clubs that were springing up around Missouri, collecting group orders and submitting them en masse to manufacturers for tremendous discounts. Those cooperative efforts were the beginnings of MFA. Until his death on Oct. 24, 1940, Hirth had been elected president of MFA every year from 1928, resigning only 18 months to run unsuccessfully for the Missouri governorship. The epitaph tomb stone reads, “He loved agriculture and all things beautiful.”
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