McGregor: A Smart Investment
McGregor's purchase of QFC, followed by significant facility updates, are helping to ensure the division's long-term sustainability.
July 13, 2010
Quincy Farm Chemicals (QFC) originated in the mid-1950s when agriculture literally took root in the Columbia Basin of Washington state. It wasn’t until the completion of the Grand Coullee Dam system that there was enough water available to support production agriculture in the region.
“This area was all sage brush and dry land until water came,” says Peter Romano, unit manager. “Water brought farming and back then my father began to create liquid application equipment to fertilize this newly developed irrigated land. He founded QFC and we grew right along with agriculture these last 50 plus years.”
Romano, a past president of the Ag Retailers Association, and his late father became leaders in developing modern agriculture in the region. “We were the first retailer in North America to introduce global-position-guided auto steering in our custom applicators,” he says. “This technology is giving us 2-inch accuracy in field applications and eliminating overlap.”
“By investing in our facility with state-of-the-art mixing and blending facilities, retaining walls, contained rinse pads for both fertilizers and pesticides, closed pesticide injection applicators, dry disconnect valves, and contained pesticide and fertilizer storage, we fit into the company’s Every Drop Counts program,” explains Craig Webley, QFC unit sales manager.
Ryan Erickson, a QFC crop advisor, describes these efforts this way, “The investment in our future is to focus on a mentality in which we are stewards of the land, working toward sustainable practices and not focusing on short-term gains to grow our industry.”
“The McGregor Co. has led the way through utilizing best management practices and through continued innovations. We are dedicated to help lead the way to ensure the continued success of our customers, our fellow employees, and our company,” says Service Technician Mark Dabeny. “And we are serious about this.”
Operations Supervisor Doug Dunkin adds to this perspective by taking it into the field. “Most of the time our employees are the last to come out of the field and how they leave that field has a direct impact on our relationship to our customer and the environment. More than anything, getting our employees to take ownership in what they do on a day-to-day basis has a significant impact on our success.”
Travelers through the area on I-90 are treated to an important community project supported by QFC. “We assist both the Quincy and Ephrata FFA Chapters in their Crop Sign Project,” explains Dunkin. “Manpower, storage, and inventory of crop signs are all a part of this project, which involves placing signs in fence rows identifying local crops growing in the fields adjoining the Interstate.”
Romano says that QFC employees look at environmental respect as a shared responsibility. “We each make a difference as individuals, but our team approach is worth so much more,” he says. “We are proud to be a part of something bigger.”