Environmental Respect Awards: 2006 State Winners

Simplot Grower Solutions employee truck

The Environmental Respect Awards is in its 17th year of honoring and celebrating agricultural environmentalism throughout the industry. Hundreds of dealerships have been recognized for their efforts and CropLife magazine will be showcasing some of these facilities each month through May. Those profiled here have won participant plaques and state awards at the local level for their efforts, and many have experienced increased business and customer loyalty as a result of their participation. They have filled out the Environmental Respect Awards Self-Audit, they have pledged their commitment, they have seen results, and they are proof that participation matters.

Simplot Grower Solutions, Torrington, WY

The team at Simplot Grower Solutions in Torrington, WY, lives by its mission statement “Bringing Earth’s Resources to Life.” This vision translates into an attitude of environmental stewardship that won the business a 2006 state Environmental Respect Award.

“The natural resources that are available to us are precious commodities and we need to utilize them in ways which will sustain and enhance life,” says Lisa Ochsner, unit supervisor for Simplot-Torrington. “Being a good steward of the air, land, and water is not only necessary for our livelihood, but it is also the right thing to do.”

To this end the operation has implemented many safety and environmental procedures, says Ochsner. Simplot-Torrington has two liquid plants, and the largest has a containment pond that is lined with an impervious material. Both dry and liquid fertilizer is stored and blended under roof, virtually eliminating storm water runoff. Herbicide jugs are triple-rinsed and recycled and three of the company’s full-time employees have completed HAZMAT training.

In addition to the physical plant construction, the company also gives back to the community. The operation hosts an annual company appreciation day and each year, the unit supervisor gives a tour of the facility to agriculture students from the local college.

“The most positive message we carry into the community regarding agriculture is that we are knowledgeable about the products we sell, take pride in our work and our equipment, and treat our customers fairly,” says Ochsner. “We believe that agriculture is the lifeline of our world and we are proud to be a part of that.”

Agriliance, LLC, Taft, TX

“By caring for our environment, our environment will care for us,” says Richard Roecker, branch manager for Agriliance, LLC based in Taft, TX.

This full-service dealership offers customers a variety of products and services, including insecticides, bulk and packaged herbicides, fungicides, bag and liquid fertilizer, and consulting services. All agricultural chemicals, including bulk tanks, are stored inside the main warehouse protected by locks and an alarm system. The business hosts an annual employee training program that includes all aspects of environmental protection, health, and safety. Emergency response plans are posted throughout the facility and in each company vehicle, and employees have access to all written emergency response plans.

According to Roecker, the operation doesn’t stop there. It carries its message of environmentalism to its customers and community. Agriliance-Taft initiated a local scholarship program called the “Gold Star Award” for high school students interested in pursuing agriculture as a career.

“We are a very fortunate country to have the best food and fiber available to our population,” says Roecker. “Our industry contributes to this and it is of the utmost importance that we as stewards protect our agricultural environment today and in the future.”

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