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

StewardshipOhio Water Quality Project To Determine How Much Phosphorus Is Leaving Fields
July 27, 2015
Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in Read More
StewardshipOhio Farmers Improving Water Quality Through Fertilizer Applicator Training
July 15, 2015
Since last fall, 6,586 growers and producers responsible for farming some 1 million acres of Buckeye State farmland have gone Read More
FertilizerNOAA: Lake Erie Annual Algal Bloom Could Be ‘Historically Bad’
July 13, 2015
If you are hoping there is any hope that harmful algal blooms will not occur in Lake Erie again this Read More
Chesapeake Bay
ManagementCourt Decision Protects Chesapeake Bay’s Water, Wildlife
July 7, 2015
Today, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the historic clean-up plan for the Chesapeake Bay. Collin O’Mara, president and Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Allied Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Feed Division Facilities Receive Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification
July 13, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Feed Division, a marketer and distributor of value-added feed ingredients for the aquaculture, livestock and pet food industries Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Expands To Brazil With Acquisition
July 8, 2015
BRANDT has acquired a majority interest in Target Brasil Fertilizantes Ltda. through its Brazilian subsidiary. Target Brasil manufactures, distributes and Read More
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Latest News
CropLife 100Allied Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
FungicidesReport: Sudden Death Syndrome Symptoms Appearing In Soy…
July 30, 2015
Last week, symptoms of sudden death syndrome (SDS) began to appear in April 15-planted soybeans at the University of Illinois’s Read More
Seed/BiotechAdvanta Seeds Adds New Phoenix Corn Hybrids
July 30, 2015
Corn growers in the High Plains and Western states have new options available for the 2016 growing season from Advanta Read More
ManagementTechnology and agriculture: a Futurist’s Perspective
July 30, 2015
Futurist David Zach, speaking at this week’s InfoAg Conference in St. Louis, shared thoughts on the benefits and limitations of Read More
Biofuels Plant in Lousiana
Industry NewsIdle Biofuels Plant In Louisiana To Reopen As Ammonia F…
July 30, 2015
A Lithuania-based company plans to spend $265 million to reopen an idle biofuels refinery in Grant Parish as an ammonia Read More
FFA at Monsanto Booth at the 2015 National Farm Machinery Show
Industry NewsFive Students Receive The 2015 Monty’s Plant Food Compa…
July 29, 2015
This fall, five college-bound students will have financial support through the Monty’s Plant Food Company FFA Scholarship. All five scholarship Read More
GYPSOIL Blendable Pellets
Crop InputsBeneficial Reuse Management Launches Pelletized Gypsum …
July 29, 2015
Beneficial Reuse Management (BRM) announced this week at Ag Media Summit that its GYPSOIL Pelletized Products Division will open a Read More
StewardshipOhio Water Quality Project To Determine How Much Phosph…
July 27, 2015
Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in Read More
FertilizerKoch Agronomic Services Launches N-TEGRATION Technology
July 27, 2015
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC (KAS) has launched  N-TEGRATION Technology, a process technology platform designed to enable production of enhanced efficiency fertilizers at Read More
HerbicidesExpert: IARC Herbicide Classifications Leading To Confu…
July 24, 2015
Few people in the crop protection industry had heard of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) before this Read More
ManagementFCI Trade Summit Update & Precision Tank Turns 50
July 23, 2015
Editors Dave Frabotta and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the upcoming FCI Trade Summit in Las Vegas, NV, and how Precision Tank Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesUSDA Deregulates Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Cotton Trait
July 23, 2015
The USDA today issued its decision deregulating Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist cotton trait in the U.S. The USDA has now completed its Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Showcases Versatile Product Por…
July 23, 2015
Technology has revolutionized agriculture by bringing farmers, retailers and distributors to the forefront of the digital age. To meet the Read More
FertilizerWSJ: Cf Industries Exploring Merger With Dutch Chemical…
July 23, 2015
U.S. fertilizer maker CF Industries is in advanced merger talks with Amsterdam-listed chemical company OCI NV, the Wall Street Journal Read More
HerbicidesNufarm Releases New Panther SC Herbicide
July 23, 2015
Nufarm has announced the availability of new Panther SC herbicide. Panther SC is the first liquid formulation of flumioxazin available Read More
EquipmentFarmLink Launches Farm Equipment Sharing Program
July 23, 2015
FarmLink has introduced a new online farm equipment sharing community – MachineryLink Sharing – leveraging this new economy business model Read More
HerbicidesCould The South’s Most Troublesome Weed Represent A Thr…
July 22, 2015
Palmer amaranth is undoubtedly the most troublesome weed in the southern United States, taking a devastating toll on both cotton Read More
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Hires New Director Of International Sales
July 22, 2015
Global Agriculture firm H.J. Baker announced today that Steve Langley has joined the company’s Crop Performance Division and Animal Health Read More