As a young man earning his stripes in the agriculture industry scouting fields, Wilbur-Ellis Co. Area Manager Douglas Sigurdson learned from an early age the value of environmental respect. “From an early age, I learned about the fragility of our planet and how it deserves our respect and responsible stewardship,” says Sigurdson. “A healthy environment is the very foundation for our continued existence; from a global, humanitarian perspective as well as from a business perspective.”
“I’m proud to work for a company that sets such a high standard of environmental responsibility,” he adds. “Wilbur-Ellis is a company of local experts who are committed to serving its business partners in the communities where we live and work.”
Wilbur-Ellis serves the local community in many ways, from ensuring safety to participating in local civic groups. Employees receive annual training in handling and containing chemical spills, and the company’s entire warehouse is a containment area. There are also sections within the warehouse that segregate containment.
Employee training is a top priority for Wilbur-Ellis Grand Forks as well. The retailer holds an annual spring meeting with all employees as well as monthly safety meetings where chemical hazards are discussed. Additionally, at least once a year the company invites emergency responders to tour the facility and grounds and all new employees receive a contingency planning indoctrination.
“Each Wilbur-Ellis employee is an environmental representative in their community,” says Sigurdson. “Our team has extensive experience in pest diagnosis, yield monitoring, soil analysis, water management and nutrition, as well as regulatory and environmental issues. We partner with our customers to increase crop yields, enhance profit opportunities, and provide proper advice on proper land and crop management.”
The facility itself is also reportedly top-notch, as the Grand Forks branch was chosen as a “test site” for the development of a corporatewide Container Tracking system that will be used to meet (and exceed) a recent EPA container testing mandate.
It seems all of the hard work and attention to detail is paying off, as Wilbur-Ellis inspection scores for the Grand Forks branch have averaged 98% compliance over the last three years.
“The very word ‘chemical’ often carries a negative and suspicious connotation to many,” says Sigurdson. “It is imperative that the Wilbur-Ellis continue to maintain its current level of quality and strive towards continuous improvement by providing ongoing education about our products so that we may dispel these negative myths.”
Note: Wilbur-Ellis in Grand Forks, ND, is a 2012 state Environmental Respect Award winner. For more information on this program, which is sponsored by DuPont, click here.