For 25 years now, a special celebration honoring excellence in agriculture has taken place in July. Each year at this time, a select group of agricultural retailers from around the world have gathered near the Wilmington, DE, home of DuPont Crop Protection to take part in the annual Environmental Respect Awards program. Designed to acknowledge those ag retailers that have excelled in the areas of stewardship, sustainability and community, the program has long reflected not only the winning dealerships and cooperatives, but the core principles that guide DuPont Crop Protection itself.

“At DuPont, we are proud to support the Environmental Respect Awards and recognize outstanding businesses that have vowed to be good stewards of the environment,” said Rik Miller, president of DuPont Crop Protection, discussing the program. “We are also proud that through the awards process, companies are provided the opportunity and support to evaluate their own policies through Environmental Respect self-audits.”

In 2015, hundreds of ag retailers from across the globe utilized the self-audits, submitting these forms to be judged as part of the program. In the end, 13 ag retailers from all corners of the world were deemed special enough to be awarded an Environmental Respect Award. These winners gathered in Wilmington on Monday, July 27th to begin the week-long celebration of agricultural stewardship and sustainability.

At the opening dinner, 2015 Environmental Respect Awards winners were invited to stand up in front of their fellow honorees and tell their stories. Each was unique in its own way, but all shared one common theme: That doing what’s right for the environment and the community while still helping the grower-customer maintain their yields and profits is definitely possible.

“It’s so nice to be up here surrounded by so many other companies that believe in environmental respect the way we do,” said John Christian, president of Green Valley Agricultural, Wayland, MI. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate receiving this award from DuPont and the good folks at Meister Media.”

And this is just the beginning. Over the next several days, Environmental Respect Awards winners will tour research facilities, plot farms and historic DuPont locations. There will also be privy to a panel discussion of fellow ag retailers looking at the question of sustainability in today’s world.

So be sure to check out the Website all this week for updates from the tour participants. As Karen Musson, co-owner of Environmental Respect Award winner Gar Tootelian, Inc., Reedley, CA, reminded attendees: “Environmental respect is everyone’s job in today’s agricultural world, not just those of us gathered in this room!”