Growing up on a farm gives one a unique perspective on environmental stewardship, says Daron Bell, manager of Crop Production Services (CPS) in Clarkson, KY. “It becomes first nature to us that I have to take care of the resources that take care of me,” says Bell. “That means controlling any erosion of the soil within my means. It means applying only what is labeled and necessary to obtain needed results. It means protecting my family and community by using safe and sound practices in our operation so as to have a good reputation.”
CPS Clarkson accomplishes this by ensuring its crop inputs are contained and controlled. For example, the company’s product tanks, pumps and meters are plumbed separately, each labeled and locked when not in use. There’s also emergency equipment and products in an enclosed pallet box that can be loaded in a pick-up truck or trailer to respond to any product spills.
Bell himself also takes the time to promote CPS Clarkson’s stewardship efforts to the local community. “I often get on a crusade to tell others outside of this industry what we really do,” he says. “It really hurt me a few years ago when my child came home from school and was taught that people like his dad were poisoning the Earth and anyone who eats today’s crops.”
To counter these claims, Bell has given presentations at local schools. “I promote facts such as certain groups of chemicals, while sounding very potent with a rate of two-thirds of an ounce per acre, have less toxicity than an aspirin in a railroad tank car of water,” he says. “I tell them about our facility plans for different scenarios — even a stormwater plan to prevent runoff. Through truth and unbiased information, we have a moral commitment that we can continue to feed the people of this world a safe and ample food supply for many years to come.”
Note: CPS Clarkson was a 2011 state Environmental Respect Award winner. For more information on this program, which is sponsored by DuPont, click here.