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

StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
StewardshipBayer Lands Honor For Bee Care Center, Other Initiatives
June 3, 2014
Bayer Corp. has been named a 2014 Responsible Care Company of the Year by the American Chemistry Council, thanks in large part to its Drive Toward Zero initiative and North American Bayer Bee Care Center. Read More
StewardshipStrip-Tillage: A Sustainable Effort
March 3, 2014
As sustainable agriculture grows in popularity, interest in custom strip-tillage is growing. Read More
StewardshipCTIC Granted Nearly $500,000 To Examine Benefits Of Cover Crops
October 17, 2013
The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) has received a $482,000 Conservation Innovation Grant to study the benefits of cover crops. Read More

Trending Articles

ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More

Latest News

Allied Cooperative Grain Plant
ManagementArcadia Co-op To Merge With Allied Cooperative
August 28, 2014
Allied Cooperative has announced that members of Arcadia Co-op voted in favor of a merger with Allied Cooperative, paving the way for the consolidation which will be effective on December 1, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesBioinsecticide VENERATE Now Registered In California
August 27, 2014
Marrone Bio Innovations' VENERATE is a new tool to help California growers control crop-damaging insect pests, fight the development of insect resistance and reduce pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables. Read More
CropLife 100Two Iowa-Based Ag Co-ops To Merge
August 27, 2014
The Board of Directors and management of United Western Coop, Missouri Valley, IA has completed a merger with Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, IA, effective September 1, 2014. Read More
FertilizerKoch Expands AGROTAIN Nitrogen Stabilizer Portfolio
August 26, 2014
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC has added two new innovative nitrogen stabilizers to the AGROTAIN product family – AGROTAIN ADVANCED and AGROTAIN DRI-­MAXX. Read More
Seed/BiotechDuPont To Build Two Seed Treatment Centers
August 26, 2014
DuPont has announced construction on two state-of-the-art centers dedicated to developing and testing seed treatment formulations, applications and seed handling techniques in an important step toward bringing new solutions to growers. Read More
Seed/BiotechLoveland Products Acquires A Controlling Interest In Ag…
August 26, 2014
Loveland Products, a subsidiary of Agrium , has announced the company has acquired a controlling interest in Agricen, a Dallas-area agricultural biotechnology company delivering biochemical-based products for efficient and sustainable plant nutrition. Read More
StewardshipUp Close Look At The 2014 Environmental Respect Award W…
August 25, 2014
The 2014 Environmental Respect Award winners were honored recently at the 24th annual event in Wilmington, DE. Read More
Eric SfiligojAg Science Rejection Carries Consequences
August 25, 2014
As innuendo and fear dog the regulatory process, agriculture can’t get the new tools it needs to combat world hunger. Read More
LegislationFarmers Dismayed As New Farm Bill Dumps Direct Payments
August 25, 2014
The threatened end of cash subsidies to the nation’s row crop farmers dates back through at least the last two iterations of national agriculture policy legislation. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK CEO To Retire
August 22, 2014
GROWMARK chief executive officer Jeff Solberg has announced his retirement effective September 15, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesDuPont’s Prevathon Approved For Dry Beans
August 22, 2014
DuPont Prevathon insect control powered by Rynaxypyr has received EPA registration for foliar use on dry bean crops, including dried shelled peas and beans. Read More
ManagementNCGA DuPont New Leaders Program Enters Sophmore Season
August 20, 2014
The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont are pleased to announce the second year of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Links Up With Mitsui, Hokusan
August 20, 2014
Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., and Hokusan Co., announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement allowing Verdesian Life Sciences global access to its patented technology for suppressing mycotoxin contamination in wheat and barley. Read More
SprayersUniversity Of Illinois Introduces New Spray App
August 18, 2014
University of Illinois Extension has released a new smartphone app for making sprayer-related calculations. Pesticide Spray Calculator, or Spray Calc, Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Names New Manager Of Federal Government Relati…
August 18, 2014
Laura Wood Peterson has joined Syngenta as manager of federal government relations, based in Washington, DC. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science …
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Factory Layoffs
August 18, 2014
Deere & Co. has announced it will reduce the size of its manufacturing workforce at some agricultural equipment factories in response to current market demand for its products. Read More