Built To Surpass

Ritter fuel tanks

For visitors to Ritter Crop Services, Inc. in West Ridge, AR, finding the outlet isn’t that hard. After exiting I-55 and passing by fields of rice and soybeans for a couple of miles, a pair of structures loom in the distance. One is an old barn, populated by various pieces of farm equipment placed here and there. Directly across the road is a brand new building, surrounded by a security fence and numerous safety signs. This is Ritter’s West Ridge facility. For miles in any direction, no other houses or buildings are visible.

Despite its remote location, Facility Manager Lynn Skaggs says the outlet was built with an eye toward safeguarding its surroundings and neighbors. “As an outdoorsman, I know the importance of respect for the environment,” says Skaggs. “We consider it a partnership with the grower to care for our natural resources. The preservation of these resources is the most important step our company can take in assuring our future.”

With this philosophy in play, the Ritter West Ridge facility has been named a regional winner in the 2008 Environmental Respect Awards program. “I was surprised that we won, but it feels great,” he says of the honor. “As a company, Ritter has done a lot with the environmental business each year, and we have done what we could to follow through on that approach.”

Going Above And Beyond

To illustrate this point, Skaggs points to the construction of the West Ridge outlet itself. When it was first being built in 2006, Ritter went out of its way to make the facility environmentally friendly. “This location was designed to exceed current EPA and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality regulations,” he says. “All the concrete floors are sealed with an impervious coating to prevent any spilled chemicals from being absorbed. All materials transfers of non-bulk chemicals to and from the warehouse, bulk chemical transfers from the tank to the mini-bulk shuttles, and even seed transfers are conducted on concrete pads, and floors. Outside the warehouse, all transfers of chemicals to the trucks are completed on concrete pads and seed treated with chemicals are transferred with closed conveyors with concrete pads under both for easy clean-up and to prevent accidental chemical release into the soil or groundwater.”

Earlier this year, the facility added a 1,600-gallon bulk chemical tank in its warehouse, complete with a spill bucket and extra absorbent nearby. The tank itself will soon be installed with an overfill alarm. Another recent addition is the installation of a pair of double-walled fuel storage tanks, which do not require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits as a result of their design.

Besides crop protection products, seed, and fuel, Ritter West Ridge also serves as a water depot for its grower-customers. At the front of the property sits a water filling station, connected to the nearby Little River Community Water System. Even here, says Skaggs, the environmental aspects of this service are considered. “To prevent potential cross-contamination to the water supply, an air brake is used when customers fill their water wagons or buggies,” he says.

Elsewhere in the community, Ritter West Ridge works with the fire departments of the nearby towns of Etowah and Keiser to hold drills and discuss the company’s Emer­gency Action and Fire Prevention Plan. The outlet has also partnered with Delta Plastics to serve as a recycling collection site for poly tubing, which helps to reduce on-farm burning of these products.

“By showing respect for the environment, we assume a role of caretaker for the land, water, and air,” concludes Skaggs. “The Earth should be treated as an item that we have borrowed from someone. We should take care of it and be sure to pass it to the next owner in better shape than when we received it. Environmental respect is an investment in everyone’s future as well as our company’s.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Training Scholarships
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-Education Center Investment (w/Photo Gallery)
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More
StewardshipAgrible Joins Field To Market To Pursue Sustainable Sourcing Initiatives
June 1, 2016
Agrible, Inc. has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as an associate member. As a leading multi-stakeholder Read More
Trending Articles
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Latest News
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Names Protassium+ Sales Director
June 28, 2016
Compass Minerals, the producer of Protassium+ sulfate of potash, has named Scott Johnson director of sales for Protassium+ North America. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe British Leave Vote Impact On EU Agriculture
June 27, 2016
Like virtually everyone else in the world this past week, I’ve watched the global reaction to Britain’s vote to exit Read More
Valent David Nothmann
Crop InputsValent Names David Nothmann Vice President Of Marketing
June 27, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has announced the appointment of David Nothmann as vice president of marketing. Nothmann will be responsible for Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stew…
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Contributes To Mayo Clinic
June 27, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty agriculture products, has pledged a sizable donation to the Mayo Clinic Read More
ManagementReport: U.S. Farmland Values On Average Continue Gradua…
June 27, 2016
Land price movement has been in the forefront for farmers, landowners, lenders and land brokers for a decade now during Read More
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use W…
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray …
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-E…
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More
Bayer sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Turns Back Bayer Again
June 14, 2016
Bayer AG’s bid to buy Monsanto Co. for more than $60 billion has hit an impasse that could pose a Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionNext Generation Of Nitrogen Efficiency Technology Conve…
June 13, 2016
Commodity price projections indicate farmers will continue to face tight margins again this year. Delivering higher yields and more bushels Read More
Industry NewsLa Crosse Seed Acquires Cover Crop Solutions Brand
June 10, 2016
La Crosse Seed announces that it is the new and exclusive owner of the entire family of brands of Cover Read More