Cited as “an outstanding advocate” for the crop protection industry, Mary Hartney has been named recipient of the Southern Crop Production Association's Don W. Beise Award for service to agriculture and the agricultural chemicals industry.

The award, presented annually to a person outside the association, honors the late Don Beise.

Hartney, president of the Florida Fertilizer and AgChemical Association, “has spent many hours at the capitol, overseeing and coordinating lobbyists to best represent our industry,” says Ed Duskin, SCPA executive vice president.

“In March, she and six members of her board went to Tallahassee and lobbied their state senators and representatives on issues affecting agricultural business in Florida and hosted a luncheon to further the discussion.

“In May, she and her board of directors participated in the SCPA's annual trip to Washington, visiting senators and representatives to help get across our message regarding issues affecting the crop protection industry.”

Back home, Duskin says, she was “faced with a barrage of environmental activist articles” in a major daily newspaper, “to which she responded with correct data and factual information.

“Her belief in our industry was clearly stated in one of the articles she wrote countering the newspaper articles: ‘Agchemicals make it possible for our nation to be relatively self-sufficient in food. Just look at the oil industry to see what can happen if we depend on foreign countries for our supplies, and how it can, and does, adversely impact our standard of living and economy.’”

Hartney has been closely involved with coordination and assimilation of information on damage to agriculture by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.

“SCPA values her leadership — not just in working with our member companies, but also for her effectiveness in assisting us with the Florida congressional delegation,” Duskin says. “She is an excellent communicator of issues to all parties concerned, and her knowledge and enthusiasm have helped to make sure we maintain a viable industry.”