Bob is a member of the National Onion Growers Association and other groups made up of vegetable growers. He learns from his colleagues and enjoys their company.
Q: Why did Bob give his sweet corn seed to his colleagues?
A: Because he believed it was the right thing to do for the American farm worker. His 20-year pursuit to develop his sweet corn seed started with the idea that automated harvesting would be possible if there were only one ear of corn per stalk. While others were trying to grow more ears per stalk, Bob was doing the opposite. He could see that labor, both the time it takes to hand harvest and the toll hard physical labor takes on workers, could be minimized in the long run if corn could be harvested by a machine.
With one tractor and driver, corn is picked efficiently and the employees who used to do this are now working in the processing plant sorting and packing the corn. Employees don't have to be out in the hot sun, walking the narrow rows, carrying heavy loads and breathing the dust from the fields.
Bob created the beneficent circle Michael Novak speaks about. Bob has prospered because the entire industry has grown by sharing ideas that are useful to all. More corn reaches the tables of the world today because of the seed and techniques invented by Bob and others in farming.
We must add the cliche, Bob has worked to create a win-win-win -- a win for workers, a win for consumers and a win for the farm owners.
Think about it
You think about it: What do you know that should be shared with your colleagues?
Clip from: Innovation and Invention with Michael Novak
Washington, DC and around the world: What drives people to challenge the status quo? ...to go out into the unknown? ...to try to create things that have never been seen before? Why do these people work so hard and stretch so far? Everybody talks about them, saying things like, "Crazy!" "They'll kill themselves." "They're in a world of their own." Yet, these daring people, driven by principles and dreams, are changing our world for the better.
We turned to scholar, Michael Novak, of the American Enterprise Institute for insights. Novak would like to see this innovative spirit take root throughout the world. And, it is.
Bob Sakata, founder, owner
South 4th and Bromley Lane
PO Box 508
Brighton, Colorado 80601, CO 80601
Visit our web site: ../../page2463.html
Year Founded: 1948
Give Your Ideas Away
BOB SAKATA: Well, about 30 years ago -- 35 years ago, I was asked to speak at a sweet corn breeders meeting and there were really outstanding, large operators there. I was just a young kid listening to their wisdom. And they wanted three ears per stalk that looked green and a higher yield per acre. But I thought that I wanted a corn plant that only produced one ear per stalk mainly because I could see the day that we had to mechanically harvest our corn.
HATTIE: You invested your time, your energy, your money to test it and develop this and work with this genetic engineer, but you don't own the seed?
BOB: No, I think anything that would be an advantage to my colleagues in the business, why they can have it, too.
MICHAEL: You can invest your whole life's savings in developing a new product in the hope that if you do it right, other people will want it. You'll help other people, they would gladly give you their money in exchange for the benefits they will get from this product and you will benefit. So it becomes a beneficent circle. You help other people and you benefit by it.