When considering the need for environmental responsibility in ag retail, Terry Swinson, operations manager for Simplot Grower Solutions in Hatfield, MN, says observers need only look to the recent past for some perspective.
“A small thing can grow into a big problem,” says Swinson. “We have seen city water that could no longer be drunk. We have seen the closing of sanitary landfills because of improper dumping. We need to take care of our environment as it directly affects our business.”
To this end, Simplot Hatfield has implemented many safety measures to its crop inputs business. This includes having all its dry fertilizer stored indoors, with loading and unloading conducted on concrete containment, all liquid fertilizer and crop protection products stored in or on concrete pads or dikes and having its entire mixing area under roof, with loading and unloading done with concrete containment.
Simplot Hatfield also makes certain its employees know all of the company’s emergency plans by holding regular right-to-know meetings. “We also inform them of new laws and ways that we are doing things in case of an emergency,” says Swinson. “We show them where the safety equipment is located for each job that they will be doing.”
In these and many other ways, says Swinson, Simplot Hatfield is doing its part for environmental respect. “It is an investment in our company’s future because if things are not done properly and there is not anything done to control the overuse of fertilizer, chemicals and pesticides, we will ruin the environment,” he says. “Then, we will no longer have a business or a place to work.”
Note: Simplot Grower Solutions in Hatfield, MN, was a 2011 state Environmental Respect Award winner. For more information on this program, which is sponsored by DuPont, click here.