Environmental Respect Awards: 2006 State Winners

McGregor Co. team

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.

The McGregor Co., Oakesdale, WA

Hard work, dedication, community involvement, and a commitment to the land are just some of the qualities that brought The McGregor Co. a 2006 State Environmental Respect Award, the premier award for excellence in environmental stewardship among U.S. retailers.

This Oakesdale, WA, operation employs six full-timers who have been working at the plant for a combined average of 34 years. The company prides itself on both employee and customer training and provides seminars, plot tours, and meetings to keep everyone up to date on the latest trends and research. In addition, McGregor has a recycling program in which empty plastic containers are stored in a secured “can cage” after being triple-rinsed in the field. The liquid fertilizer containment area is constructed with 125% capacity in mind, and security cameras monitor the transfer of products.

What may be most important however, are the three messages that McGregor carries into its community: Agriculture is not only about growing good crops, it is also about a way of life; you can’t save yourself rich, you must invest in your own future; and your future is our future, together we can make this work. “We know that without a commitment to the environment by both us and our farmer friends, the environment will suffer as will the long-term success of our business,” says Tom Zornes, office manager at McGregor Oakesdale. “It is only smart business to preserve and protect our environment.

“Whenever a company goes to the effort to complete an application package, it can’t help but benefit from the exercise,” he continues. “Not only will it see areas in which it can improve, but it will also see areas in which it already excels. It’s an excellent learning tool.”

Crop Production Services, Wadena, MN

Safety is first for the staff of Crop Production Services (CPS). Being located within the city limits of Wadena, MN, CPS has taken additional precautions in its efforts to preserve and protect the environment. These efforts recently won the company a 2006 State Environmental Respect Award and the respect of its employees and community.

“As a plant, we want everyone to feel safe and know they can count on us to keep our community clean,” says Robert Keppers, location manager at CPS. “The investment we put forward to keep our stewardship efforts at top standard is not an investment, it’s a commitment.”

Dry fertilizer is swept up daily and is stored and applied to fields as recommended. All plastic jugs are triple-rinsed and are recycled through the state of Minnesota. Employees are trained for emergency situations throughout the year, and CPS takes every measure to make sure the proper people are in place in the event of an emergency.

But to the employees at CPS, the community always comes first. The operation gives facility tours and open houses, cleans the city’s flower beds, and participates in “Ag in the Classroom” at its local school.

“The positive message we carry into the community is that we care about it,” says Keppers. “We are dedicated to keeping future generations safe for years to come.”

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