by Eric Sfiligoj

One of the most memorable moments in movie history occurred in the Academy Award-winning 1976 film “Rocky.” Haven gotten his chance at a major fight, the title character spends several weeks training to get into peak fighting shape. One of the inspirational moments happens when Rocky finally sprints up the steps of the Philadelphia (PA) Museum of Art, jumping for joy as he reaches “the top of his game” to the Bill Conti tune “Gonna Fly Now.”

In the spirit of reaching “the top of their game,” the 2017 Environmental Respect Award winners spent part of their third day together scaling these same steps while visiting the city of Philadelphia and posing for a group photo. Same participants even took the time to take a snapshot with the statue of Rocky positioned at the bottom of the Art Museum steps.

“This is a great way to help those exceptional ag retailers from the around the globe celebrate their important accomplishments by recognizing the parallels between them and Rocky from the movie,” said Wendelyn Jones, Project Stewardship and Sustainability Manager for DuPont Crop Protection, which sponsors the annual awards event.

The award winners seemed equally impressed. “It was fun running up these steps with my son, the same way that Rocky did in the movie,” said Andrea Kubaski, Agricultural Marketing Coordinator for Castrolanda Agroindustrial Cooperative, one of the Latin America winners from Brazil. “It was very nice to do that.”

In addition to celebrating the spirit of achieving the top level of environmental respect after years of trying, award attendees also paid a visit to the place where DuPont Crop Protection got its start 215 years ago, the Hagley Museum. A few years after coming to the U.S. from France, E.I. du Pont began producing a higher quality gunpowder than was previously available in the country. Within a few decades, spurred on somewhat by the start of the American Civil War, the DuPont company had grown into a multi-million operation, eventually leaving the gunpowder industry behind for ventures in plastics and agriculture.

“It was very special to see how the DuPont company got its start and realize how many times the company’s leadership had to step up their game to face new challenges in the fields their served,” said Chad Wunsch of Crop Production Services of Athena, OR, the North America winner for the West region. “That proves hard work does have its rewards.”