Persistence Pays Off

Simplot Garry Rasmussen, DuPont Jason Gibson

In one sense, Simplot Grower Solutions in Berea, NE, winning an Environmental Re­spect Award is interesting, especially when you consider the company’s approach to stewardship. “When it comes to environmental stewardship, you don’t get second chances,” says Garry Rasmussen, supervisor for the outlet. “Everything you do has got to be done right the first time.”

However, when it comes to trying to win an Environmental Respect Award, Simplot Berea has taken second chances. After receiving a state honor back in 1999, the outlet has narrowly missed winning for several years since. In 2007, this persistence finally paid off with a regional honor.

“We are all very excited to win this award,” says Rasmussen. “Our outlet has put all its environmental practices into place because it was the right thing to do, but being recognized for our efforts is very gratifying nonetheless.”

According to Rasmussen, environmental stewardship has been a big part of Simplot Berea’s way of doing business since the facility first opened back in the early 1990s. Although it is located about 9 miles north of the town of Alliance, NE, the outlet has still taken extraordinary precautions when its comes to handling crop inputs.

Containing Containment

For instance, the company’s product tanks are inspected annually for any defects. All containment areas are power washed and resealed every fall. Perhaps most impressively, all liquid product offloading — which takes place at a railroad stop approximately one mile away from the facility — is transported via an underground piping system to the outlet’s holding tanks.

“These pipes are heavily reinforced to prevent leaks and have a double wall containment system in place, which is more of a safety precaution than state regulations call for,” says Rasmussen. “Also, the transport pipe’s off­loading end is located in a locked steel security cage to protect it against tampering.”

Other security measures at the outlet include the locking of all tank valves and warehouse doors, putting all Restricted Use crop protection products in a securely locked area of the chemical warehouse, and locking all entry gates onto the facility grounds during off hours.

Education Is Key

Besides these physical measures to protect the environment, Rasmussen believes that Simplot Berea has succeeded in its stewardship efforts in large part through education. “We have training every year for chemical storage and handling,” he says. “We also have two employees certified as HAZWOPPERS (Hazardous Work Operations and Emer­gency Responses).”

However, this education regiment extends far beyond the outlet’s own grounds. “We are always trying to instruct grower-customers on new products and procedures,” says Rasmussen. “We have many chemical meetings with our growers every year to try to help them with their crop needs and with the new water restrictions. We are having meetings to try to stress the importance of these new measures and the problems we will come up against in the future.”

Some of these issues have already come into play during the current growing season, he adds. With many more growers moving to a continuous corn model to take advantage of higher prices spurred by ethanol growth, Sim­plot Berea’s customers are running up against water restrictions brought on by a few years of lower than expected rainfall. “This means many growers have adopted no-till farming practices to conserve water,” says Rasmussen. “But this has put added pressure on our custom applicators to be careful in how we apply crop protection products and fertilizer, trying to keep inputs where they belong and not ending up on neighboring properties.”

Being Good Neighbors

This “protecting neighbors” approach extends into the community involvement Simplot Berea initiates each year. As part of its regular services, the outlet has a plastic compactor on-site, where all cleaned plastic containers can be crushed and readied for recycling. The company also sponsors students at the local high school in a work program, so they can get an idea of what it’s like to work at an ag retailer.

Most recently, Simplot Berea has embarked on a tree planting program, putting in a row of baby pine trees along the western edge of the facility’s grounds. “When these trees get bigger, they will not only provide our outlet with a wind block, but will look green and environmentally friendly for anyone visiting our area,” says Rasmussen.

Overall, he adds, this kind of long-range thinking will keep Simplot Ber­ea leading the environmental stewardship charge for years to come. “Here at Berea, we stress our company motto — nothing hits the ground unless it is properly applied,” says Rasmussen. “I feel it is very important to the future of ag and our business that we are instructing our customers and our employees in the proper way to use and apply chemicals to keep from having environmental issues.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Training Scholarships
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-Education Center Investment (w/Photo Gallery)
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More
StewardshipAgrible Joins Field To Market To Pursue Sustainable Sourcing Initiatives
June 1, 2016
Agrible, Inc. has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as an associate member. As a leading multi-stakeholder Read More
Trending Articles
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Latest News
Heritage Cooperative
CropLife 100Heritage, Agland Co-op Explore Mutual Merger Interest
June 30, 2016
According to a report in The Ohio Country Journal, Heritage Cooperative and Agland Co-op have entered into negotiations to consider Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Crop InputsDow Launching New Soybean Burndown Herbicide
June 30, 2016
With the 2016 growing season nearing the halfway mark, many growers are scouting soybean fields to find unwelcome marestail plants Read More
ManagementUpdates on Glyphosate Use in the EU and Bayer/Monsanto
June 29, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the latest important developments on these crop protection fronts. Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Names Protassium+ Sales Director
June 28, 2016
Compass Minerals, the producer of Protassium+ sulfate of potash, has named Scott Johnson director of sales for Protassium+ North America. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe British Leave Vote Impact On EU Agriculture
June 27, 2016
Like virtually everyone else in the world this past week, I’ve watched the global reaction to Britain’s vote to exit Read More
Valent David Nothmann
Crop InputsValent Names David Nothmann Vice President Of Marketing
June 27, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has announced the appointment of David Nothmann as vice president of marketing. Nothmann will be responsible for Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stew…
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Contributes To Mayo Clinic
June 27, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty agriculture products, has pledged a sizable donation to the Mayo Clinic Read More
ManagementReport: U.S. Farmland Values On Average Continue Gradua…
June 27, 2016
Land price movement has been in the forefront for farmers, landowners, lenders and land brokers for a decade now during Read More
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use W…
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray …
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-E…
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More