Opportunities are knocking in our industry today, and thus, our organizations are fraught with “challenges,” given the social, scientific, and geopolitical environments in which we coexist.

Let’s examine our opportunities across these three areas and consider how we might better take advantage of some of them in 2022 than we did in 2021.


Silos appear to be growing, and whilst good for grain storage and missiles, they are not good for our industry, as they prevent collaboration, problem-solving, and innovation. Two heads are better than one, and our industry is full of bright minds capable almost anything when tasked.  

We must get out of our silos and work collaboratively toward solutions to issues and not be redundant in the process.


We have opportunities in science, as our industry has changed/is changing, and innovation related to new products, applications and technologies is fundamentally important to ensuring we remain relevant. The one thing most rational people trust is science. Factual information, backed by science and properly communicated, will always be in vogue.  

It’s often said that “A rising tide lifts all boats.” “Who is working on what?” and “How can we help?” should be the order of the day. Collaboratively on a pre-and procompetitive basis, we are capable of producing tsunamis if we are inclined to do so, and not hunkered in silos prescribing to the notion that “if it’s not invented here, it is not of value.”

We have competition for consumers and challenges never before put forth by competitors. These challenges will not be overcome by marketing hyperbole, but by solid and trustworthy dissemination of information backed by science and via contemporary marketing methodologies.


This is probably the most difficult “opportunity area” to seize, as it is multifaceted — and of late is based on irrational thinking by some who are focused on self-preservation as opposed to what’s good for all and the planet. “Politics make strange bedfellows, and treaties will make strange bedfellows of a number of enemies.” 

We need achievable agreements that work first, and then perhaps we can then work toward treaties. We seem to ink agreements and celebrate the fact too quickly, and then act amazed that the other party or parties do not comply and/or renege. (Can you say USMCA, Paris Accord on Climate Change, Iran Nuclear Deal?) A trade deal or an agreement is not valid or valuable if it is based on hope and hype alone and not taken seriously and/or enforceable between parties. 

Ten countries in the world accounted for 58% of the world’s population in 2021, yet more than half of them are at odds with another over fundamental geopolitical issues such as global trade. When you throw dairy into the mix relative to trade, it is further exacerbated.

Perhaps sustainability is “common ground” for opportunity as it impacts us all, but working on it in “silos” in our country or industry is not going to produce the desired or effective results.