They came from all corners of the globe. As the 2014 Environmental Respect and Ambassadors of Respect came together for the annual awards event in Wilmington, DE, representatives were on hand from such widespread places as Russia, Peru and Australia. On the domestic front, some the largest ag retail organizations were present, including The McGregor Co., Crop Production Services and Ceres Solutions.

On this first night of the 24th annual event, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection and with assistance from CropLife/Farm Chemicals International magazines, attendees had the chance to mingle with one another at the famed DuPont Country Club. They told their company stories and described how their markets were unique from other places in the world.

Yet despite the far flung cities and countries these representatives were from and the different company origin stories they told, one common notion bound all of them together: A love of the land where they do business and a desire to protect it for future generations by being good environmental stewards.

"I want to thank everyone in this room," said Jim Fargo, representing Centennial Ag Supply Co., Kersey, CO, the 2013 National Environmental Respect Award winner, during his opening introduction. "Although we can come from different places and service different kinds of customers, we all share the same ideal of environmental stewardship, and that's a wonderful thing."

Over the next few days, attendees at the event will visit many different places in the Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania areas devoted to furthering the future of agriculture. And through it all, the underlying theme of environmental respect will be there.