The Camas Prairie is home for the Regional Environmental Respect-winning McGregor Prairie Unit, located between Nezperce and Craigmont, ID. At an altitude of 4,000 feet, this nearly 100,000-acre prairie supports wheat, malting barley, peas, lentils, and seed bluegrass.
The McGregor Prairie Unit application season begins in early April and continues through Thanksgiving and includes anhydrous, liquid, and dry fertilizers as well as a broad inventory of crop protection products. “We are fortunate to have a state-of-the-art dry fertilizer blending system,” says Mike Frei, business unit manager. “It features no dust emission and full containment as well as undercover loading and unloading,” he says. Area growers rely on dry fertilizer applied from grain drills as a part of their minimum tillage cropping system over the rolling prairie hills.
The unit reports only a limited liquid fertilizer business, but all liquid loading is done on a concrete pad with full containment to protect against accidental spills. “Our companywide motto is ‘Every Drop Counts,'” explains Frei. “That philosophy is instilled in every employee from the first day they are on the job.”
McGregor requires new employees to attend a two-day safe product handling training program and they must demonstrate that they understand the hazards of handling these materials. “Our company has a 50-year-plus history of no major spills, releases, injuries, or deaths. We intend to keep adding to the accident-free record,” says Frei, a veteran McGregor employee of 36 years.
John Boyer is the unit service manager and he, along with the other 10 employees, takes pride in their professionalism. “The company provides shirts and cleaning services,” he says. “Professionalism is stressed in how we dress to how we conduct ourselves with each other and our customers. We take all of this very seriously. That attitude comes all the way down from owner Alex McGregor and it’s what has made our company a success.”
The McGregor Co. is a multiple winner in the 19-year history of the DuPont Environmental Respect Award Program. Frei witnessed the company grow in environmental respect. “Environmental Respect is a mindset in each employee,” he says. “Our first obligation is to God and our second is to all mankind — both living and future generations. While we are on this Earth, it is under our watch and we must leave the environment in better shape than when it was entrusted to us.”