Dealing With Visitors At Your Ag Dealership

Retailer Grower

By their nature, ag retail outlets are gathering places. In many towns, these facilities are local fixtures, with grower-customers and other visitors coming and going at all hours of the day. According to Garry Rasmussen, supervisor for Simplot Grower Solutions, Berea, NE, this makes for some complicated procedures when its comes to tracking all guests, both invited and uninvited.

“You have to walk a fine line at times,” says Rasmussen. “On one hand, you want to be as open and friendly as you can with your trusted customers and their friends, but you have to be cautious whenever someone shows up at your facility that is unknown to you.”

Here we look at how retailers cope with visitors to their outlets.

1. Keep Tight Tabs On Strangers

Perhaps the most potentially dangerous visitor to a retail facility is someone new. While grower-customers tend to be well-known, delivery truck drivers or other strangers are not. In most cases, retailers have established guidelines for escorting these individuals around their facilities or provided them with clear visitor badges so they can be more easily tracked.

“It’s a standing policy that all visitors to our facility must sign in at the main office before they are allowed onto the grounds,” says Jeff Black, area manager for The McGregor Co. in Oakesdale, WA. “We have signs posted all around our outlet that instruct all visitors to do so. This way, we don’t have anyone just wandering around our place without our office personnel knowing about it .”

2. Treat Grower-Customers Like Members Of The Team

When it comes to grower-customers, retailers normally have long-standing relationships, so tracking procedures don’t need to be as strict. Still, most retailers like their customers to sign in when visiting.

In addition, some retailers take extra steps to make grower-customers feel like part of their extended family of employees. According to Brian Herr, manager for Daylight Farm Supply, Inc., Evansville, IN, his company regularly holds customer training days at its outlet, such as a wheat drill calibration clinic held during the summer of 2006.

3. Establish Working Relationships With Law Enforcement/Safety Personnel

Besides grower-customers, perhaps the most important visitors to any retail outlet are the local law enforcement and safety personnel such as firefighters. For a number of safety and security reasons, retailers need to provide these individuals with detailed emergency plans and keys to locked gates. Emergency contact information should be kept up to date and given to police dispatchers.

“We even go the extra mile with our town firefighters,” says Tom Zornes, office manager for Oakesdale McGregor. “A couple of our employees serve as volunteer firefighters for the town’s fire department. One employee even helped build the cabinets used in the new fire house.”

4. Reach Out To Neighbors Within The Community

Finally, many ag retailers rely heavily on their immediate neighbors for help. In many cases, these individuals can monitor the facility during off-hours and report any strangers on the grounds to local police.

“As a way of thanking these neighbors for their help during the year, we hold an annual open house,” says Stephanie Galland, safety and compliance director for Western Con­solidated Cooperative, Twin Brooks, SD. “Last year, we had hundreds of people turn out for the event.”

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

StewardshipA Multi-Layered Approach To Water Quality
October 6, 2014
Illinois event highlights research and technology designed to better monitor and improve water quality — and the benefits of cooperative, coordinated effort. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
StewardshipBayer Lands Honor For Bee Care Center, Other Initiatives
June 3, 2014
Bayer Corp. has been named a 2014 Responsible Care Company of the Year by the American Chemistry Council, thanks in large part to its Drive Toward Zero initiative and North American Bayer Bee Care Center. Read More
StewardshipStrip-Tillage: A Sustainable Effort
March 3, 2014
As sustainable agriculture grows in popularity, interest in custom strip-tillage is growing. Read More

Trending Articles

Matt Hopkins15 Best New Agriculture Apps Worth Downloading In 2014
December 16, 2013
These latest agriculture apps are sure to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2014 and beyond. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

ManagementGreenfield Scholars Program Aims To Sustain Agronomy Wo…
October 21, 2014
The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. Read More
Paul SchrimpfPrecision Ag: Taking It To The Hill
October 21, 2014
A new coalition took the good news message of precision agriculture to Washington, DC, last month. Read More
ManagementUSDA Awards $18 Million In Small Business Research Gran…
October 21, 2014
The grants will provide high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Terminates Merger Discussions With Yara I…
October 21, 2014
CF Industries Holdings and Yara International have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Ranked A Top 10 Biotech Employer For Third tim…
October 20, 2014
Syngenta ranked in the top 10 among the world’s top biotech employers, according to an annual survey conducted by Science magazine. Read More
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Break Ground For New Facility At Kennebec
October 20, 2014
Wheat Growers has broke ground for a state-of-the-art shuttle loader grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Kennebec, SD. Read More
FertilizerVerdesian Life Sciences Signs Agreement With Los Alamos…
October 20, 2014
Verdesian Life Sciences has signed a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop and market LANL’s latest nitrogen enhancement technology for plants. Read More
MicronutrientsStoller Group Announces Groundbreaking At New Office Bu…
October 20, 2014
Jerry Stoller, founder and president of Stoller Group, announced the groundbreaking at the site of the company’s future headquarters in Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Opens New Production Facility In Nevada
October 20, 2014
BioSafe Systems has completed construction of a state-of-art production facility in Sparks, NV, for its line of activated peroxygen products. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScien…
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechEPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Duo Herbicide
October 15, 2014
The Enlist Weed Control System, breakthrough technology to fight resistant and tough weeds, has received the long-awaited green light from federal regulatory authorities. Read More
MicronutrientsGypsum On Farms Could Help Keep Water Clean, Not Green
October 14, 2014
Gypsum, which has roots in the past as a farm soil treatment, also may have a bright future, and not just as a booster of crops but also as a protector of water. Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Crop InputsVerdesian Grows Sales Staff
October 14, 2014
The new account managers will drive sales growth and support relationships with key customers in the plant nutrition and seed treatment and inoculants product categories. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
October 14, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Purchases Six Grain Elevators, Four Agron…
October 14, 2014
The Andersons has acquired Auburn Bean and Grain of Auburn, MI, which will increase the storage capacity of its Grain Group by about 13%. Read More
StewardshipThree Ohio Ag Retailers Honored With 4R Certification
October 13, 2014
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced its first three agriculture nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More
Eric SfiligojEntering Agriculture’s New Phase
October 13, 2014
The market’s giddy ride the past few years might be coming to an end in 2015, warns one industry insider. Read More
Eric SfiligojWar And Green Peace
October 11, 2014
A one-time member of Green Peace recently explained why he left the organization after 15 years. Read More