2009 ERA National Winner: Ingrained In The Environment

The Wabash Valley Service Co.’s Browns, IL, outlet is the 2009 National DuPont Environmental Respect Award Winner. A panel of expert judges selected the Wabash Valley winner from among entries received in this, the 19th year of competition.

The Browns facility is spread over 10 acres and includes the latest in physical plant design and technology to ensure an environmentally friendly operation. This full-service farm supply business has 34 employees who continually receive safety updates and training. Training includes an annual company-wide Safety Fair where participants cover everything from hazardous communication to dealing with community methamphetamine issues.

“We spend a lot of time training on safety and environmental stewardship,” says Mike Wilson, Webster Valley Service Center area marketing coordinator. “Every applicator who leaves this plant with a piece of equipment knows that they are the last word. If they get to the field and something is not right, they are trained to return and not continue the application.”

Each year local volunteer fire departments are invited to train on the Wabash Valley site. Browns employee Eric Shaw is a volunteer fireman for a local fire department and coordinates on-site training about the proper fire-emergency procedures for the products stored on the site.

“We also provide third-party training for all professional applicators in the company,” says Wilson. “The training is held in the spring and fall and includes calibration, weed identification, nozzle selection, spray and mix logs, and information about insurance claims.” The Wabash Valley application rigs are equipped with autosteer and multiple section boom shut-off controlled by computer mapping. “Our rigs have as-applied software that is great backup should there be any claims concerning our application accuracy,” he says.

“Technology has just made us more educated when it comes to making fertilizer and crop protection recommendations,” explains Wilson, a certified crop advisor (CCA). The Browns location employs six CCAs and depends on field scouting and integrated pest management to make product recommendations. “We do a lot of work overlaying yield maps with fertility maps,” he says. “If you use a yield map that says you took 200-bushel corn off an area, then experience tells you to replace the phosphate based upon that yield level. But when we overlay a soil test map over the yield map we often discover there is still plenty of available phosphate. We think we save the customer money and help protect the environment from overapplication.”

A New Facility

The award-winning facility was built from the ground up beginning in 2003. “We built this location one section at a time,” says Wilson. “We looked at maintaining environmental responsibility at every single step. Even the feed and seed warehouse is curbed and contained just in case we want to use it for another purpose down the road,” he says.

The liquid load-out building is equipped with a firewall in the ceiling and contains many fail-safe features for fire protection. “We’ve installed video monitoring with nine cameras and recording capabilities. The cameras may be accessed by any computer with a password on the Internet,” says Wilson.

The Wabash Valley load-out building maintains two large water tanks connected to the local water system. The tanks are fed by a 2-inch line, and a unique system of photo sensors protects against any chance of back siphoning. The building contains 12 4,300-gallon tanks and a computerized mixing system. The load-out area is designed for fast and safe turnaround of sprayers and nurse trucks. The modern dry fertilizer blending system eliminates fertilizer dust in the atmosphere. “We can blend 750 ton per day,” says Wilson. “We go through about 15,000 tons each fiscal year. The anhydrous load-out area includes two 18,000-gallon storage tanks.

“We are doing the right thing with our containment system,” says Wilson. “But every dealership has got to be doing the right thing or they aren’t going to be in business very long. Every business needs to do the right thing with equipment too, or they won’t be in business very long.

“What separates the good companies from the really good companies is what we are doing with people,” says Wilson. “It really boils down to people — employees, customers, and the community. If we do the right things with people, we are going to be successful.”

Wabash Valley is committed to helping people understand the effort it takes to feed and clothe the nation.

“Many of the employees at Browns are involved in the community, mostly through Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom program. They also serve on the local fair board, school board, as 4-H leaders, mentors in school programs, and in their local churches. As a company we donate money to support these programs and individuals,” he adds.

Wabash Valley employees are involved in civic organizations such as the Rotary. They are encouraged to speak about the industry and educate adult audiences on the methamphetamine problems that plague agriculture and public health.

“The message we carry is one of environmental stewardship; if we are to continue to feed ourselves and the world, we must protect our most vital resource, the land,” says Wilson.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

Fall Creek Seth Harden The Nature Conservancy
StewardshipLocal Farmers’ Watershed Initiative: Continuous Improvement Is Possible In 5 Key Areas
January 13, 2017
The goal in the Big Pine Watershed Project is to more intentionally do what local farmers and responsible ag retailers Read More
Fall Creek Watershed
StewardshipNutrient Stewardship In Indiana Requires Cool, Clean Collaboration
January 5, 2017
Green leaves sparkle in the sunlight. Trees cluster tightly on the bank. Today might be the day you see a Read More
4R advocate 2017
Stewardship2017 4R Advocates Dedicated To Sustainable Crop Nutrition
December 27, 2016
A farmer-agronomist team from CHS in Shipman, IL, has been recognized as one of five pairs of 2017 4R Advocates. Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
Crop InputsAASA: Answering Pesticide Questions
December 21, 2016
The American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) has completed its 12th year of inspecting bulk agricultural retail facilities. This program helps Read More
Trending Articles
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsanto Merger
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
Latest News
Young Corn Plants
ManagementTimac Agro USA Acquires Michigan Ag Retailer
January 20, 2017
Timac Agro USA, an agriculture supply company specializing in high-efficiency plant and animal nutrition products, has acquired St. Louis,MI-based A&E Ag, Read More
Soybean field
Crop InputsNufarm Teams Up With John Deere Financial
January 19, 2017
Nufarm and John Deere Financial have teamed up to help farmers grow a better tomorrow. This program helps make purchases Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationTrump Formally Picks Perdue As Agriculture Secretary
January 19, 2017
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump officially announced Sonny Perdue as his choice for secretary of agriculture on Thursday, selecting a former Read More
ManagementPresident Trump, Wisconsin Review, and a Dow-DuPont Upd…
January 18, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj reflect on a new administration, a recent winter show, and crop protection company mergers. Read More
Industry NewsBayer, MS Technologies Get China Approval For Balance G…
January 18, 2017
MS Technologies and Bayer have received import approval from China for Balance GT soybeans. The new Balance GT Soybean Performance Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Industry NewsReport: Monsanto, Bayer CEOs Among Latest to Make Trump…
January 18, 2017
The chief executive officers of German chemical giant Bayer AG and U.S. seed behemoth Monsanto, Werner Baumann and Hugh Grant, Read More
Giant Ragweed
HerbicidesStudy: Focusing On Weed Seedbank Can Help Manage Herbic…
January 18, 2017
Researchers writing in the latest issue of the journal Weed Science provide important insights on the control of herbicide-resistant giant Read More
Management3 Financial Trends To Watch In Agriculture
January 17, 2017
I recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting of credit managers for Midwest ag supply and input companies, in part Read More
Andersons Retail Store
CropLife 100The Andersons To Close All Retail Stores; Shutdown Does…
January 16, 2017
In a stunning announcement to the Toledo area, The Andersons Inc. said on Sunday that it would close its two Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 16, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Corn
Eric SfiligojThe Mood From Madison? In A Holding Pattern
January 16, 2017
Last week, I had the chance to attend the annual Wisconsin AgriBusiness Classic show in Madison, WI. It’s been a Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsAccenture Helps Syngenta Transform Its Global Logistics
January 13, 2017
Syngenta, a leading agriculture company, has collaborated with Accenture to design and implement a new digital logistics operating model across Read More
Fall Creek Seth Harden The Nature Conservancy
StewardshipLocal Farmers’ Watershed Initiative: Continuous Improve…
January 13, 2017
The goal in the Big Pine Watershed Project is to more intentionally do what local farmers and responsible ag retailers Read More
HerbicidesEPA Expands Enlist Duo Herbicide Registration To 34 Sta…
January 13, 2017
The U.S. EPA has expanded the geography for application of Enlist Duo herbicide from 15 to 34 states. This means Read More
Olson Ag Enterprise
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Nebraska Seed Retailer
January 13, 2017
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
ManagementDeere-Precision Planting Update and the Ag Secretary Wa…
January 12, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj provide the latest on the court date for John Deere/Precision Planting and the quest Read More
Monsanto sign
Seed/BiotechMonsanto, NRGene Form Agreement For Big Data Genomic An…
January 12, 2017
Monsanto Co. and NRGene have announced that the companies have reached a non-exclusive, multi-year global licensing agreement on NRGene’s genome-analysis Read More
AGCO Custom applicator
SprayersAGCO, Asmark Institute To Offer Training For Beginning …
January 11, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute are collaborating to offer a new training program dedicated to educating and developing custom Read More