Rice Farming

 - From the Editor -

The power
of positive thinking

By Carroll Smith

If you can imagine something, it can happen.

A good example of the truth in this philosophical statement is Delta F.A.R.M. (Farmers Advocating Resource Management) – “an association of growers and landowners that strives to implement recognized agricultural practices that will conserve, restore and enhance the environment of Northwest Mississippi,” according to www.deltafarm.net.

Ten years ago, Billy Percy of Greenville, Miss., had a clear vision of the future. He realized that environmental regulations were on the horizon, and farmers and landowners would have to deal with them. But instead of keeping his thoughts to himself, he took a proactive stance and began sharing his vision with other farmers, landowners and farmer-advocate organizations. He convinced them to start a pilot program that encouraged farmers and landowners to “sign up” their acres and voluntarily commit to being better environmental stewards by implementing Best Management Practices on their farms.

In the spring of 1998, the program had signed up over 165,000 acres, and in October of that year, Delta F.A.R.M. was officially launched. In 2008, the organization reached the one-millionth-acre mark, and Percy was dubbed the “founding father.” For more details on the organization’s success stories, read the article on Page 6 and visit the Web site at www.deltafarm.net.

Another example of the power of positive thinking is the USA Rice Federation’s visionary actions following the discovery of trace elements of genetically engineered (GE) rice in commercial long grain samples.

Jamie Warshaw, the current chairman of USA Rice, points out, “In late 2006, nearly one-half of all U.S. rice exports were negatively impacted by the Liberty Link crisis, and markets in the EU and Russia were closed….Some in the industry early on said eliminating GE rice traits couldn’t be done. Fortunately, the facts proved otherwise, and once threatened U.S. exports markets are now open.”

To see how this seemingly insurmountable obstacle was handled in a proactive manner, read Warshaw’s commentary on Page 15.

Not everyone is a visionary, but we all have the ability to choose to think positively instead of negatively in the face of any adverse situation that may confront us. Positive thinking leads to positive energy, which can lead to overcoming challenges in both our personal and professional lives. Although it is a cliché, there is truth in the idea that we don’t have to be content being stuck with lemons when we can make lemonade.

Send your comments to: Editor, Rice Farming Magazine, 5118 Park Ave., Suite 111, Memphis, Tenn., 38117. Call (901) 767-4020 or e-mail csmith@onegrower.com.