A long-standing tradition at the annual Environmental Respect Awards Celebration Week is a blue crab feast.

In many cultures around the world, strangers that are meeting for the first time typically get to know one another better by braking bread together. For the Environmental Respect Award program, sponsored by Corteva AgriScience in partnership with CropLife and AgriBusiness Global magazines, however, the long-standing tradition of food sharing involves cracking blue crabs beneath a canopy of fall foliage on the point of the company’s Chesapeake Farms grounds.

“We’ve brought visitors here for many years now, and part of the tradition is to learn how to eat blue crabs, which grow locally in the Chesapeake River area, and learn more about one another,” said Raymond Forney, Global Product Stewardship for Corteva. “And we hope you will continue this tradition in 2019.”

Harriet Cameron, Sales Manager for Farmlands Cooperative,

Harriet Cameron of Farmlands Cooperative poses with a crab.

For the most part, attendees to the 2019 Environmental Respect Awards were eager to learn the proper method for eating cooked blue crabs. “This looks really interesting,” said Harriet Cameron, Sales Manager for Farmlands Cooperative, Christchurch, New Zealand, holding up one of the crabs for a closer look. “I can hardly wait to give this a try.”

Cameron’s Corteva representative for New Zealand, John Smith, echoed this sentiment. “Oh, I remember these crabs,” said Smith, having been part of the 2017 Environmental Respect Awards celebration week. “I bet I can eat at least a dozen all by myself!”

Over at the Prairieland FS, La Belle, MO, table, the representatives also drove into their line of blue crabs. “These look delicious,” said Keith Fricke, ERS Manager for the company, manning a wooden hammer to crack through the shell and get to the crabmeat inside.


Corteva's John Smith enjoys his blue crab meal.

Prairieland FS’ Steve Weaver seemed reluctant to try some blue crab at first, but eventually gave them a try. “I was pressured into trying one,” said Weaver. “But I really like them!”

A few hours later, all that was left of most of the steamed blue crabs were endless piles of broken shells and dead man’s fingers (the crab lungs, which are inedible). But the memories of having cracked crab with many newfound friends will likely remain for a lifetime to come for several of the 2019 Environmental Respect Award winners.