Viator was recently named president-elect of the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC).

For more, see NAICC selects Viator to be next leader.

NAICC has done a lot of membership polling over the last year. The organization really wanted to know what our membership needed the most. Included in our group are contract researchers and quality-assurance professionals all working in agriculture.”

A very detailed member survey sought “to get a handle on what the membership thought was the major role of NAICC in representing the independent crop consultants and researchers on a nationwide basis. One of the biggest things members wanted was a presence in Washington, D.C., to educate not only agriculture-related government employees and organizations but also lawmakers. We need to let them know what our profession is and the role we play. They need to know the considerable amount of expertise our membership has, and if needed, we can be utilized.”

Several years ago, the NAICC began an outreach effort called the ‘Crawfish Boil on the Hill.’

“We do it every March. It’s a very low-key, relaxed reception. No political agendas or issues are discussed.

“We just invite lawmakers and staff to the function and provide crawfish and other Cajun delicacies. They come in and relax and get to know consultants and researchers.

“It has really done a lot for our government affairs and relations in D.C. Last year, we visited some of the government agencies the day prior to the function. Doing that, we learned a lot about the atrazine situation and the possibility of EPA removing it from our toolbox. We learned a lot about the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permitting.”

For more on NPDES, see permits.

“And then those same people we visited with came and had some crawfish. We get a lot of mileage out of these efforts. We’re excited about continuing that.”

The issues that face the NAICC “are very similar to those facing agriculture in general.  NAICC members interface with production agriculture every day.  It behooves all that are in the field of agriculture to work together to be sure the public is informed of the importance of our nations’ great ‘Farm Food Factory’ and that our lawmakers, USDA and our regulatory agencies are aware of how their actions affect the day to day operations of our growers.”