Location: Soil and Water Management ResearchTitle: Lessons learned planting trees
Submitted to: CSA News
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2018
Publication Date: 10/11/2018
Citation: Evett, S.R. 2018. Lessons learned planting trees. CSA News. 63(10):26. https://doi:10.2134/csa2018.63.1022.
Interpretive Summary: The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) is a scientific and technical society with members from every state in the US, and from many other countries. Many members are scientists and engineers involved in research and development of improved agronomic methods that reduce waste and cost, make more efficient use of agricultural inputs, defeat pests and diseases, improve harvesting methods, improve water quality and increase farm and range profitability. In addition to more than 8,000 scientists and engineers employed by federal, state and private industry, the society includes several thousand crop advisors and farm managers who put into practice the engineering and scientific advances and feed back to the scientific community the relative success or need for improvement of new methods, products and approaches. The Society and its membership play strong roles in promoting all five key indicators of rural prosperity listed by the Presidential Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, but particularly the last two: Harnessing Technological Innovation, and Economic Development. All agronomists are involved in some aspect of planting, not only of crops but of ideas and future agronomists who, like trees, may grow to fruitful members of society in support of rural prosperity.
Technical Abstract: Life lessons are learned through planting trees. First with grandparents and parents, then with brothers and sisters and later with friends, colleagues and our own children, we learn through planting trees that there are many parallels with our personal and professional lives. Experience doesn’t always count, although taking time to reflect on that experience could save us trouble brought on by hasty decisions. Trees planted can bring satisfaction, fruit and joy to a family and community, but not every planting is successful. Some wither and die while others, less expected, grow into beautiful examples of fruitful harvest and bring joy, rest and respite from life’s ups and downs. As a community of agronomists we participate together in planting the seeds and seedlings of students, mentored colleagues, research projects and research groups. With some we have expectations of a quick harvest in the form of a student graduated, papers published and products delivered to our agricultural producers. With others we plant in the hope of a more productive community, one that will continue well beyond our own time in the field. We plant because this is how we live – we agronomists.