Editors Note: 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.
UAP Distribution Inc.
With 8 full-time and 10 part-time employees, this full-service retail facility serves customers with bulk and liquid fertilizer and crop protection products, as well as consulting services, computer mapping, and custom and variable-rate application services.
All bulk chemical tanks are located within the mixing/storage building, built to eliminate all rainwater from entering. The building is secured and locked at night, and a security system on the building connects to the phone line which automatically calls police and fire in the event of an emergency. Employees are trained in emergency, safety, and stewardship procedures to combat one of the retailer’s biggest challenges: safety in supplying, handling, and delivering materials.
“As the ag industry consolidates, there is increased demand for materials, and the amount of materials handled increases,” says Bill Fuller, manager at UAP Distribution. “This creates challenges in timing and safety that require constant implementation of proven environmental practices.”
According to Fuller, the Environmental Respect Awards has prompted increased attention to stewardship at the facility, and the company is currently working on revisiting their basic policies with the intent of doing their job better.
“The award has given us a sense of pride that all the planning and hard work has been successful,” says Fuller. “By having major environmental rules in place, it allows us time to focus on the smaller tasks, to fine-tune our operation, and take it to the next level.”
GROWMARK FS, Inc.
Safety and commitment are two reasons GROWMARK FS, Inc., under the direction of Regional Sales Manager Jeff Draper, took home a state Environmental Respect Award in July 2006. The company moved into its Bridgeton, NJ, home in March and was fortunate to start with a brand new facility and a clean canvas.
“We consulted with several professionals to try to look down the road at what will be required of us,” says Draper. “We also looked at current regulations and went the extra mile to make sure more than the theory was in place.”
This state-of-the-art, concrete and steel building houses bulk and liquid fertilizer, seed, and crop protection products. All products are blended inside and loaded on a covered, concrete pad which is cleaned daily. The company’s on-site safety manager provides annual training to ensure all employees are certified and GROWMARK keeps a contingency plan on file at its plant and with the appropriate local agencies.
Draper says the new facility is the first commitment to ag anyone has made in the South Jersey area in years — and people are taking notice.
“Our customers have acknowledged our efforts with increased business,” says Draper. “GROWMARK FS is committed to safe operations, both old and new. It helps protect employees as well as air, soil, and water. We respect all of these and treat them as assets.”