Regional Winner 2007
|The words urban renewal and retail crop protection service are seldom spoken in the same breath, but for the 2007 Mid South Regional Environmental Respect Award-winning business, the two are synonymous. Ritter Crop Services is a large part of the business and visual scene of downtown Marked Tree, AR, a Mississippi River Delta community of 2,800. Once the site of an abandoned, bankrupt local cooperative, the property was acquired in 2004 by E. Ritter and Co., the parent company of Ritter Crop Services.
Josh Gallion, location manager, literally grew up with the business while officially signing on as a crop consultant after college in 1998. The 31-year-old location manager remembers when fertilizer, crop protection, and grain storage were all located in the same facility. According to Gallion, new construction includes environmental designs and best management practices that far exceed current state regulations. “In 2004 we built a new dry fertilizer building that keeps storage and blending under roof,” explains Gallion. “This new operation serves all of our retail sites and has improved both environmental safety and efficiency,” he says. “In our old facility we had two blenders and each load was created ‘by hand’ from a blend sheet. Now we keep the blender loaded and everything is done electronically.”
There are also two new areas to handle crop protection products. All of the non-bulk products are stored within a concrete containment system treated with a sealant to prevent chemicals from infiltrating the concrete. The bulk products are dispensed from an area within an additional containment system. The recent addition of a new seed treating area rounds out the major site construction.