Moving Elevators: The Problem with Top-Down Sustainability in Agriculture


As the story goes, a new hotel employee was asked to clean the elevators and report back to the supervisor when the task was completed. 

When the employee failed to appear at the end of the day, the supervisor assumed that, like many others, he had not liked the job and left. 

However, after four days, the supervisor bumped into the new employee. He was cleaning one of the elevators. "You surely haven't been cleaning these elevators for four days, have you?" asked the supervisor accusingly. 

"Yes sir," said the employee, "This is a big job, and I have not finished yet - do you realize there are over forty of them, two on each floor, and sometimes they are not even there..."

The Path to Lasting Sustainability.

With COP27 recently concluding, the cry for top-down sustainability in agriculture has never been greater. The problem with this approach is that we’re chasing a moving target. 

If we want to implement genuinely sustainable practices, those need to begin on the farm and create the conditions for the long-term health of our farming communities. 

After all, sustainability begins by enabling our farmers to farm again next season. 

Many in agriculture and sustainability make the mistake of becoming overly reductive in their approach by focusing on one specific practice - carbon, methane, no-till, organic, etc...

And they become just like the hotel employee chasing moving elevator cars without considering the entire elevator shaft. 

Instead, we need to step back and reconsider the lens through which we view and approach our holistic farm management. 

We need to look at overall farm health, not one simple metric. 

We must find new ways to enhance the remote monitoring and traceability of our agricultural products. 

That’s Why We Started Soiltech Wireless.

The Soiltech solution is the first fully integrated seed-to-shelf analysis tool, delivering full-cycle product information you can trust to increase operational efficiency and make informed management decisions across your agricultural product pipeline.

These measurements provide growers, advisors, researchers, and downstream supply chain partners with critical insights, enabling optimal decision-making.   

Learn more about how Soiltech Wireless can help you unlock your next insight today.