According to Billy Lowder, manager for Crop Production Services (CPS), Albemarle, NC, it has been easy for his outlet to adhere to the tenets of the Environmental Respect Awards, mainly because of the support of its corporate office. “CPS is voluntarily providing capital to ensure that each branch has the state-of-the-art equipment and training so that we will be up-to-date in environmental needs,” says Lowder. The outlet was recently named a state winner in the annual Environmental Respect Awards competition, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection and CropLife® magazine.
Furthermore, the outlet itself has taken steps to go above and beyond when it comes to environmental stewardship. “We recently added containment to our packaged chemical warehouse and containment/load pad for our above ground fertilizer tanks,” says Lowder. “These improvements are voluntary.” The company also participants in the county-sponsored pesticide container disposal program.
In terms of training, CPS Albemarle annually schools all of its employees on hazard communication. “Our files are updated annually and include information on all inventoried products and shop chemicals used on site,” says Lowder. “We have two people on our staff that are trained and qualified to contact state and local officials should a spill occur.”
This training effort goes beyond just employees, adds Lowder. “We hold customer meetings at least annually to help our farmers keep up to date on new formulations, technologies or regulations,” he says. “We offer soil sampling so that the fertilizers can be custom-blended for each field’s actual deficiencies.”
CPS Albemarle also reaches out to its community. Each year, the outlet sponsors a Corn Maze, a 4-H Adventures in Agriculture event and holds customer dinners.
“If we keep our farmers successful, our company will always be out front as a leader,” says Lowder. “I strongly feel that having a true respect for the environment must be as important as workplace safety and customer service.”
Note: Crop Production Services (CPS), Albemarle, NC, is a 2012 state Environmental Respect Award winner. For more information on this program, which is sponsored by DuPont, click here.