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

ASMARK AGCO Applicator Training Center
EmployeesAsmark, AGCO Open Training Center for Beginning Applicators
June 13, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute have opened a new Applicator Training Center, created in a collaboration between the two 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
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
Trending Articles
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
Redbanded-stinkbug-on-soybean-Photo-credit-Thomas-County-Ag
Crop InputsExperts: Mild Winter, Early Planting Will Increase Soybean Insect Threat
June 12, 2017
Higher than average temperatures this past winter affected much of the nation, especially the South and Midwest. The National Centers Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
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
Latest News
ManagementDow Field Day and More Cooperative Consolidation
June 28, 2017
CropLife Editor discusses his recent attendance at the Dow AgroSciences Field Day in Indiana and shares news on another pair Read More
Young Corn Plants
Eric SfiligojLaunching New Seed Traits: Wait on China . . . Or Else!
June 26, 2017
In life, no one likes the waiting game. In agriculture, however, playing the waiting game is very important – especially Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Speaks on Dicamba Issues in Arkansas
June 26, 2017
Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, Robb Fraley, issued the following statement following the Arkansas State Plant Board’s proposal to ban dicamba, Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechCorn Insect Bt Technologies Offer Cost-effective, Proac…
June 26, 2017
When farm economics are challenging, farmers look for ways to bolster profit margins, including reducing input costs. Some may think Read More
Crop InputsArkansas Plant Board Votes to Ban Dicamba — Now W…
June 23, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has voted to pass a proposed emergency rule to ban the use of in-crop dicamba, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsBASF: ‘Closely Monitoring’ Dicamba Situatio…
June 22, 2017
BASF, whose Engenia herbicide is the target of more than 200 drift complaints in Arkansas, emailed the following statement to Read More
ManagementConsolidation Update
June 22, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss progress on manufacturer consolidation, and another big move for Midwest cooperative Central Valley Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
Crop InputsThreat of Dicamba Ban Looms in Arkansas
June 22, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has rejected a proposed ban on the use of dicamba herbicide, but a procedural error Read More
Potash Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium-PotashCorp to become Nutrien upon Merger Complet…
June 21, 2017
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have announced today that once the anticipated merger transaction closes, the new Read More
Crop InputsMidwestern BioAg Hosts TerraNu Fertilizer Plant Opening…
June 20, 2017
Last Friday, Midwestern BioAg was joined by over 80 local farmers, media and staff to celebrate the grand opening of Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsAligned Ag Distributors Names New President
June 19, 2017
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC announced this morning the appointment of Mary Tolke to the position of President/CEO, effective July 1. Read More
ManagementPlotting Corn, AGCO/Asmark’s Applicator Training Center…
June 15, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent visits to Columbus, OH, and Bloomington, IL, along with an Read More
Seed/BiotechDow AgroSciences Announces Launch of Enlist Corn for 20…
June 14, 2017
Enlist corn will be commercially available in the U.S. for the 2018 growing season. Dow AgroSciences announced the launch today Read More
ASMARK AGCO Applicator Training Center
EmployeesAsmark, AGCO Open Training Center for Beginning Applica…
June 13, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute have opened a new Applicator Training Center, created in a collaboration between the two Read More
Power to Do More Contest Winners
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Three Winners in Power to Do…
June 13, 2017
Thousands of votes have been cast and three farmers have been awarded the power to do more with a $10,000 Read More
Frogeye leaf spot
FungicidesStrobilurin-resistant Frogeye Leaf Spot Threat Looms wi…
June 13, 2017
Heavy spring rainfall throughout the South and Midwest delayed planting and created the perfect environment for diseases like frogeye leaf Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
LegislationICGA Praises President Trump’s Remarks on Waterwa…
June 12, 2017
Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan, a farmer from Utica, issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s comments Read More