Wilbur-Ellis Leona: Going Beyond What’s Required

The bare minimum is seldom sufficient, especially in the world of safety and environmental respect. “We’ve aspired to surpass the minimum requirements in all aspects of safety and reporting,” says Warren Beavers, general manager, Wilbur-Ellis Co., Leona, KS.

According to Beavers, Wilbur-Ellis has very active safety, security, regulatory and environmental divisions. New regulation and safety reminders are sent to all locations on a regular basis, and records are accessible by all employees.

Additionally, every location is subject to an annual audit to ensure the safety of employees, customers and the environment. Last year, the company scored an 85%, or a “good” rating on its annual audit. Although management was pleased with the score, as it was the facilities first audit, they are now striving for a score of “excellent” by being more vigilant and aware of how they affect their surroundings.

“A healthy respect for the environment is important to our employees, community and business,” says Beavers. “Adherence to prescribed rules and regulations is critical to agricultural operations of all types as these practices will help sustain our growing population. The future of our company depends on it.”

Personnel is also an area where Wilbur-Ellis Leona shines, as six of the facilities managers and salesmen are Certified Crop Advisors. Regular meetings with growers, keeping them apprised of the latest products, regulations and developments in the industry.

Precision ag is big in Leona too, and all application machines are equipped with GPS guidance systems and autosteer guidance, allowing for more precise application of inputs. “We are dedicated to being the leader in precision agriculture in Northeast Kansas,” says Beavers. “Our investment into this technology is allowing us to use less product to achieve the same or better results.”

Community outreach is another piece of the Wilbur-Ellis puzzle, as the company strives to reach out to the local community via active participation in programs such as the “Backyard Buddies” and support of local FFA and other youth programs. “Participation in such activities shows the community that companies such as ours aren’t just in business to turn a profit,” says Beavers. “We’re also in business to support the local community and commerce in a family-friendly operation.”

Note: Wilbur-Ellis Co. in Leona, KS, is a 2012 state Environmental Respect Award winner. For more information on this program, which is sponsored by DuPont, click here.

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