Situated in the heart of wheat country, Chamberlain, SD, is a long way from most places. In fact, the closest big city would be Omaha, NE – a several hundred miles drive south of the town.
But after the evening of Thursday, July 26, Chamberlain is the center of the stewardship universe when it comes to ag retailers. That night, the South Dakota Wheat Growers (SDWG) outlet in Chamberlain was named the national winner of the 2012 Environmental Respect Awards, presented by DuPont Crop Protection and CropLife magazine. The award was presented at a special ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, attended by dozens of other U.S. and global Environmental Respect Award winners.
“I’m in total shock right now,” said Jim Banken, location manager, when accepting his crystal trophy. “I don’t really know what to say.” Collecting himself, Banken went on to thank all the hard work of his employees and parent company in stressing a commitment to environmental respect.
To win this award, SDWG Chamberlain has taken several environmentally sound steps over the years. This includes protecting the local watershed of the Missouri River and implementing a program called MZB (short for Management Zone Base), which allows the company to help its customers apply the proper amounts of fertilizer and crop protection products using special field zones.
“This helps to minimize the risk of leeching and runoff of fertilizer and provides a benefit for both the producer and the environment,” said Banken.
In presenting the award to SDWG Chamberlain, K. Elliott Nowels, vice president of business development for Meister Media Worldwide, the parent company for CropLife, pointed out it was important for the industry to recognize such outstanding stewardship efforts, today and into the future.
“We started this program, now in its 22nd year, to help raise the bar among all ag retailers to respect the environment we all live and work in,” said Nowels. “It is our honor to recognize all those companies that lead in this important area of sustainable agriculture.”