We have written a great deal on the PMA/United merger issue and find the responses coming in are increasingly spiritual:
Jim, I enjoy your comments. They speak wisdom, sound reasons, and years of many battles.
The joining of two great organizations is just a reminder of what is happening in all of agricultural endeavors and our society. I am a citrus grower located a few miles east of your home, and we as an industry find ourselves being represented by organizations locally, state-wide, and nationally. We have small local grower groups, state-wide grower groups, national grower groups, governmental groups… the list goes on.
Farmers pay the bills, farmers are growers, shippers, packers, marketers and consumers of their own products.
I am sure you get the feel for what I am talking about; it is time for action on the part of leaders to join hands and unite in a prayer for the continuing success of mankind.
Thanks for your contribution to all who read your messages.
We appreciate Jim’s kind words. Indeed as this process has proceeded, it has moved to a broader plain. Many, like Jim, are not involved in the day-to-day details of PMA and United, but they sense, out in the Zeitgeist, a need for consolidation. To many, it is not the budgets or numbers of trade shows. It is that the weltanschauung instructs that unity is better, essential even in these stressful times where every day seems to bring another food safety recall and so the industry is always, in some way, under attack.
The desire for merger is thus a kind of prayer for unity and a beseeching of industry leadership to go beyond the temporal to the eternal.
That is asking a lot for people whose day-to-day concerns usually involve meeting monthly budgets.
Yet, it is always one of the privileges of leadership – to have an opportunity in one’s life to not merely manage things well, but to do something great.
It is the sense that this opportunity is slipping from our hands that causes many of those who were so close to the matter to be so mournful.
Many thanks to Jim Ellis for bringing forth this thoughtful perspective.