Rolling On The River

Jim Swinney, Posey County Co-op

Mt. Vernon, IN is not your typical small Midwestern town. Nestled along the Ohio River about 50 miles upstream from its confluence with the Wabash at Indiana’s “toe,” the city features a sizeable port that has drawn world-class manufacturing and distribution centers.

This means that unlike most Mid­west farming communities, the local cooperative — Posey County Co-op — is not the biggest fish in the industrial pond. But it still considers its responsibility to be environmental stewards to the community to be paramount, says Jim Swinney, general manager.

Posey County Co-op’s journey toward becoming a Regional Award winner began back in 1991, when the Board of Trustees established a new mission statement: “To be the premier provider of goods and service at competitive prices to customers while considering the ever-changing needs of agriculture, our trade area, and being stewards of the environment, and also while preserving the financial welfare of the association.”

The headquarters location is a few blocks from the heart of downtown Mt. Vernon, and at one time the cooperative board looked seriously into moving out into the country. But the decision was made to stay put, buy parcels and expand on the current site. This would mean even greater attention to detail as the renovation was planned and constructed.

We made a concerted effort, not just to comply with the law but go above and beyond,” says Swinney. “We wanted employees to understand that protecting the environment is a priority, and we try to establish an atmosphere of environmental responsibility.”

The facility underwent significant improvement and expansion in all aspects of the business. A new fertilizer storage facility provides completely covered loading and unloading, and enough open bay space to store several of the location’s spreaders.

The chemical facility is completely enclosed and diked, and loading is also under cover. The fuel storage area is amply diked and loading is likewise performed under a roof. Inside the fuel storage diking, a special filter pump gathers up rain water and separates out any  fuel, then discharges the clean water outside.

Ideas That Work
Creating the culture of stewardship has led to some good ideas for Posey County Co-op. Here are some that are working for them:
  • Recovery Vehicle. This specially equipped trailer contains everything that would be needed in the event of a spill. Swinney says that they will respond to any spill call, be it one of their own, a grower, or a competitor. “We can’t have environmental problems around here,” he says. “Being so close to the river, the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) is very active around here, and quick response is demanded.”
  • Safety Specialist. One member of the Posey County Co-op staff has been designated the safety specialist. He acts as liaison to the local emergency planning committee, and coordinates internal training and safety activities at the cooperative.
  • Rewarding Stewardship. Incen­tives are provided, both on an individual and divisional basis, for consecutive days without incidents.
  • Appreciation Day. Posey County Co-op hosts an annual event that everyone in the town may attend, featuring food, fun, and a sharing with the community of what the company does for the city, farmers, and agriculture in the area.
  • Community Involvement. Be­sides being highly active in 4-H and FFA, Posey County Co-op participates in educational activities at the high schools, and donates time and money to charitable causes such as the American Cancer Society Relay For Life and the Community Foundation Alliance. And Swinney has been active in professional groups, serving a stint as president of the Chamber of Commerce for Mt. Vernon and as a member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
Topics:

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
ManagementOpinion: Shaking Your Perspective in Ag Retail
May 12, 2017
Some of you I’m sure have encountered our recently retired salesman extraordinaire, Dan Bellanger. He worked in the industry for Read More
Stewardship video screenshot
ManagementNew Video Raises Awareness of 2,4-D Stewardship
April 24, 2017
A new public service video developed and produced by the 2,4-D Research Task Force, in conjunction with the American Soybean Read More
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s ‘Unchartered Waters’ Quiz Via NatGeo
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Nebraska landscape Photo courtesy of Richard Hurd
ManagementNebraska Water: Another Opportunity To Sell Value
March 8, 2017
Keith Byerly has been an Advanced Cropping Systems (ACS) Manager with York, NE-headquartered, No. 13-ranked CropLife 100 retailer Central Valley Read More
Trending Articles
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing of an AGCO Legend
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Latest News
FungicidesSyngenta Launches New Seed Treatment Fungicide
May 22, 2017
Syngenta has announced the launch of PLENARIS seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower. PLENARIS contains Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsMonsanto’s First HPPD Herbicide Garners EPA Appro…
May 19, 2017
Monsanto announced today that EPA has federally approved Harness MAX Herbicide, the first herbicide in the Monsanto portfolio to provide Read More
ManagementPrecision Planting Deal, China Developments, and Enviro…
May 18, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the latest news on John Deere’s now dead deal for Precision Planting, China’s Read More
Soybean aphid leaf
InsecticidesMulti-state Research Reveals IPM Best Option for Treatm…
May 17, 2017
About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the U.S. in 2017 — a record high, according to Read More
GROWMARK-2017-Interns
CropLife 100GROWMARK Names 2017 Summer Interns
May 16, 2017
Forty-two college students are exploring agricultural career opportunities this summer as GROWMARK interns. They are working at FS member cooperatives Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Ag…
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
FertilizerBoth Wet and Dry Conditions Threaten Nitrogen Loss
May 15, 2017
The weather is notoriously unpredictable, leading to challenges for planting, harvesting and applying the nitrogen (N) your corn crop needs. Read More
farmer Kip Tom
Precision AgAg Tech: On the Cusp of Something Big?
May 15, 2017
The investment and ag-tech sectors’ continuing courtship of agriculture, smoldering for three or four years now, was well in evidence at Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
ManagementOpinion: Shaking Your Perspective in Ag Retail
May 12, 2017
Some of you I’m sure have encountered our recently retired salesman extraordinaire, Dan Bellanger. He worked in the industry for Read More
Exterior view of CPS Big Lake facility which includes enclosed receiving and load out area
CropLife 100New Alternative Weed Resistance Traits Could Experience…
May 12, 2017
It wasn’t too many years ago that ag retailers and their grower-customers could hardly wait for new options to fight Read More
Diane Allemang and Dan Jacobs
Crop InputsFMC Agricultural Solutions, Casa Pacifica Partner to He…
May 11, 2017
FMC Agricultural Solutions is teaming up with Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families, an organization that supports vulnerable children Read More
UncategorizedWhat’s Up With ARA
May 11, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks with Brian Reuwee regarding what issues are on the docket for the Agricultural Retailers Association. Read More
BASF Maglis tablet retailer grower
Precision AgQ&A: What BASF’s Latest Foray into Precision …
May 11, 2017
In late April, BASF agreed to acquire U.S. precision ag player ZedX, a leader in the development of agronomic weather, Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters into Distribution Agreem…
May 11, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., a leading global provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture markets, Read More
Bayer
Crop InputsBayer to Sell Liberty Business to Seal Monsanto Deal
May 8, 2017
Bayer has agreed to sell its Liberty herbicide and LibertyLink-branded seeds businesses to win antitrust approval for its acquisition of Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationTrump’s EPA Appointee Dismisses Half of Major Sci…
May 8, 2017
(Via NYTimes.com) EPA has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what Read More
Winter Wheat
FungicidesREGALIA Rx Available from Koch Agronomic Services for 2…
May 8, 2017
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC has announced that REGALIA Rx biofungicide is available for U.S. corn, wheat and soybean growers who Read More