The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) has named the Wheat Growers, the 2012 ARA Retailer of the Year. The Wheat Growers cooperative was presented with the award today at the ARA Conference and Expo in San Diego, CA.
The Retailer of the Year Award is sponsored by Monsanto, ARA and AgProfessional magazine and honors those retailers who represent the very best in the industry. Retail outlets nominated for the award are evaluated based on innovative business practices, community and industry leadership, environmental stewardship, reliability, technology utilization, customer service and effective employee development programs.
“ARA is pleased to recognize the achievements of the Wheat Growers with our Retailer of the Year Award. It’s important for the industry to publicly recognize outstanding agricultural retailers so that the public and policymakers understand our industry,” said ARA President & CEO Daren Coppock. “Ag retailers make significant contributions to feeding the world and responsible stewardship of our natural resources. The Wheat Growers are a great representative of the industry and very deserving of this award.”
The Wheat Growers are an innovative grain and agronomy cooperative located in the heart of North and South Dakota. They are headquartered in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Despite their name, this cooperative’s members now grow more corn and soybeans than they do wheat. Moret than 600 hard-working and dedicated employees work at 37 different locations to provide service to more than 5,400 member-owners in a 50 county area.
“This is an award earned by our employee team. Our employees work extremely hard every day to meet and exceed our customer’s expectations,” said Dale Locken, Wheat Growers CEO. “This award recognizes their aspiration to provide superior service for our customers with safety and profitability in mind. It also is a tribute to our farmer owners and our board of directors for having the vision to build a professional operation at the Wheat Growers. They have trusted us to invest in facilities and employee skills to keep pace with the needs of the sophisticated producers here in the Dakotas.”
The Wheat Growers are always looking for ways to improve their customer service. They have made significant investments in facility improvements to save farmers time and help ensure that their customers are as profitable as possible. Through two of their new facilities, they can now provide their customers with storage capacity for 3.1 million bushels, a 40,000 bushel per hour receiving capacity, 10,000 bushel drying capacity, 110-car shuttle loader, and the ability to unload up to 75 trucks per hour.
In addition to these valuable facility improvements, their precision ag specialists help farmers pinpoint the right technology, equipment and field data for the farmers’ needs and production expenses. Through new technology resources they have aquired in this area, Wheat Growers can identify exact nutrient requirements throughout a field and make better recommendations based on this information.
The Wheat Growers understand that to be a successful retailer today they can’t just meet customer expectations.”Exceeding customer expectations is really what it takes to keep us energized and successful in the future,” explained Steve Briggs, Senior Vice President of Agronomy and Corporate Marketing.
The Wheat Growers are also very active ARA members and involved in numerous other organizations that support the growth of the agriculture industry.
“On behalf of all of the employees and the board of directors of Wheat Growers, a big thank you,” said Briggs. “We humbly accept this ARA award and want to thank the ARA board of directors, the staff and Monsanto Corporation for recognition on behalf of Wheat Growers.”
To learn more about the Wheat Growers, visit www.wheatgrowers.com.