The “nation’s salad bowl” and “food basket of the world” are just two of the many ways the San Joaquin Valley in southern California is referenced. Responsible for the majority of the state’s agricultural production, those that live and work the land must pay special attention to environmental safety — a topic that is top of mind for 2012 Environmental Respect Award State Winner Mid Valley Agricultural Services Inc.
“Our feelings on environmental respect are serious,” says Byron Kurosaki, manager of Mid Valley, located in Livingston, CA. “We have invested millions of dollars into creating a new, state-of-the-art facility, here in the midst of the toughest environmental and regulatory laws in America.”
Serving growers of alfalfa, almonds, corn, sweet potatoes and tomatoes, Mid Valley’s environmental efforts started before the facility was even built. According to Kurosaki, the area was tested for kit fox habitats and special consideration was taken not to build during bird nesting season. The facility has also planted landscaping, created water collection ponds to irrigate and paved the driveways to reduce air pollution.
In addition to the facility, strong emphasis is placed on employee training. Training is ongoing for all personnel and includes standard review of safety policies, Right-To-Know, Hazmat training and product handling. Once a month, employees attend mandatory in-house training on the facility, materials and the conditions of the work environment. Managers and PCA/CCA personnel attend yearly training at the national level from industry professionals such as IAP, AgSafe and Farm Bureau.
“Our training events are supported by management and the owners to make sure our personnel are subject matter experts conducting our business and servicing our customers,” says Kurosaki. “Our company prides itself on being good stewards of our land and helping our growers to do the same.”
Note: Mid Valley Agricultural Services Inc. in Livingston, CA, is a 2012 state Environmental Respect Award winner. For more information on this program, which is sponsored by DuPont, click here.