Wabash Valley Browns: Keeping The Environmental Spirit Alive

To hear Dmitri Krajec, nutrient management and assistant plant manager, tell it, the Wabash Valley Service Co. in Browns, IL, has always tried to improve its standing, both within the agricultural community and the mainstream world. “If I had to pick just one word that best describes the principles we follow at this facility, it would be innovative,” says Krajec. “We always try to keep ahead of the curve with everything we do — from keeping a well-landscaped entrance to our offices to installing new software programs to aid our workers when they are servicing our grower-customers.”

And this spirit of “doing more” has served the outlet well. In 2009, the Wabash Valley Browns facility was named the National winner in the annual Environmental Respect Award competition, besting hundreds of entries from more than three dozen states as well as four regional winners. “We built this location one section at a time,” said then Area Marketing Coordinator Mike Wilson when accepting the award. “We looked at maintaining environmental responsibility at every single step.”

At that time, these steps included having the facility’s feed and seed warehouse curbed to contain spills and a firewall in the ceiling of the liquid loadout building. In addition, the outlet’s dry fertilizer building featured a blending system designed to eliminate dust in the atmosphere.

And the honors for the outlet continue to pile up. In 2013, the Wabash Valley Browns facility has been named the recipient of the Spirit Award in the Environmental Respect Awards competition. Sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection in partnership with CropLife® magazine, the Spirit Award recognizes those ag retail outlets that previously won regional or national Environmental Respect Awards for their continuing efforts to improve upon their environmentally-friendly policies and procedures.

Numerous Improvements

Overall, Environmental Respect Awards judges thought the Wabash Valley Browns facility deserved this honor for its latest stewardship-minded improvements. This includes the following:

The outlet has placed a manual stop in the chemical bays of its mixing area to stop water flow in case of overfilling or when rinsing containers.

The crop protection product building has been updated with color coded piping from the bulk tanks to the mixing vats to minimize product blending mistakes.

Mini-bulk tanks are now stacked with their valves facing outward in order to detect leaks and allow for easier inspections by employees.

In June, Wabash Valley Browns replaced its existing fertilizer loadouts bins with stainless steel ones. “The previous steel bins quickly rusted under the harsh conditions present,” says Krajec.

Despite all these upgrades, however, Krajec believes that Wabash Valley Browns’ installation of a new logistics software program three years ago is the most important Environmental Respect improvement the facility has made. Before this upgrade, field application work for the outlet began with the salesperson talking to the grower-customer, relaying this information to the blending manager, a blend ticket being generated and sent to a nurse truck driver, who would then hand this to the applicator.

“The logistics system takes much of the headache and risk out of this process,” says Krajec. “Utilizing the Internet and setting our system up on a cloud, the salesperson now has the ability to make their own application orders while speaking with the grower. This automatically sends a blend ticket to the loader and the field boundary to the logistics manager, who can assign it to a specific rig.” Handheld devices used by the applicator and tender driver will then coordinate this information to make certain the proper field is being serviced.

In the future, says Krajec, the Wabash Valley Browns facility will continue to make stewardship-worthy improvements. “Winning a Spirit Award after having won a National Environmental Respect Award is a great honor,” he says. “I think our whole plant and all of our employees work hard at being respectful of our environment and deserve this recognition.”

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