It is with immense pleasure and a sense of great responsibility that I address you as the newly appointed Chairman of the Biostimulant Council under The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). I am filled with gratitude for the decades-long association we have with TFI, an organization that has been an integral partner of Huma since the 1990s.

The Biostimulant Council, consisting of 82 member companies, holds a special place in my heart. This group is carving a path that many of us in the plant nutrition and biostimulant industry have been envisioning for years. Recently, I was elected as its chairman by the executive committee, and I am honored to collaborate with Dr. Rachel Slater, the newly elected vice-chair, to lead this esteemed council towards greater heights.

Huma’s long-standing participation with TFI has helped me understand the intricacies, challenges, and untapped potential of the fertilizer and biostimulant industry. It’s a unique privilege to be part of an organization that encourages collaboration over competition, where industry players unite for a common cause – to elevate ourselves, the industry, and to collectively address challenges on both governmental and industry fronts. There’s something so beautiful about industry professionals coming together for a cause that they are passionate about and ensuring that their voices are heard. This collaborative spirit extends beyond borders, facilitating international trade and interactions with influential figures in the biostimulant and plant nutrition space.

Some might say that I’m wishing upon a star, but I firmly believe that the next two years will witness a transformative phase in the biostimulant industry. Our goal is to advocate for biostimulant regulatory reform in the U.S., separating it from the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). This move will pave the way for state regulation under The Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO), ensuring a standardized approach and recognition of biostimulants. The purpose is to fight for our identity, that’s been long overdue.

TFI’s responsibility in this endeavor is crucial. We aim to utilize our widespread network and expertise to coordinate nationally, leveraging the outcomes of the USDA Farm Bill in 2024. If the outcomes are not favorable – we will find new ways, but we’ll continue to march forward. In addition, the formation of a task force within the Biostimulant Council, working on a certification program for labels, highlights our commitment to establishing industry standards. TFI’s role as the certifier in this task force will provide companies with credibility, making their biostimulant and plant nutrition products stand out in the market. I hope to be able to work individually with several of those companies to make sure that their needs are being met by the council.

The next two years promise change, and all 82 members of the Biostimulant Council are actively engaged to be a part of this change by steering the biostimulant movement in the right direction. As we witness the sustainability and regenerative agriculture movement gaining momentum, biostimulants are poised to play a pivotal role as well. My message to those involved in the biostimulant movement is “hold on to your hats.” Science has caught up, or perhaps we’ve caught up with science, and the opportunities that lie ahead of us are monumental. The idea is to lay a strong foundation on which the current and the future generations can continue to build upon. We are walking so they can run and continue to utilize the power of biostimulants in creating a sustainable world with conviction.

I invite each of you to join us as we navigate the exciting future of biostimulants. The opportunity is now, and together we can make a significant difference in modern agriculture worldwide.

About the Author

Lyndon Smith

Lyndon Smith became the CEO of Huma in 1995. Since then, he has contributed to redefining the company’s vision and strategies, transforming it to a profitable multimillion-dollar, mid-size global business.

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