Although the Environmental Respect Awards programs, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection with assistance from CropLife and FCI magazines has previously named 14 winners for its 2015 competition, attendees gathered for the week-long event at the end of July in Wilmington, DE, finally found out which companies were awarded Ambassadors Of Respect honors. This week, there were four winners announced at a special ceremony held on July 30, at the Hotel duPont, representing the North American, Latin American, Asia/Pacific and Europe/Middle East/Africa regions. The winners included Gar Tootelian, Inc. of Reedley, CA, Agro Amazonia Produtos Agropecuarios of Brazil, PGG Wrightson of New Zealand and Agrimatco of Jordan.
Doing business in the environmentally strict California marketplace, Gar Tootelian has gone out of its way to not only promote community stewardship in its area by supporting education efforts through the 4-H club and the Clovis Medical Center, the company has also promoted responsible agricultural practices with a ponding basin that can capture up to 12 inches of rainwater on its 10-acre grounds to building a new $3.5 million fertilizer tank farm with on cement 1-foot thick with two mats of rebar to withstand earthquakes.
“When I think about our company, my parents, the founders, come to mind,” said Karen Musson, co-owner of Gar Tootelian. “Without my dad, Gar, and his dream, none of this would have been possible. Now winning this award, I know the dream is much bigger than he ever envisioned.”
Ambassador Of Respect winner PGG Wrightson echoed this view. According to Catherine McCormick, rural supplies store manager for the company, PGG Wrightson is very proactive in emergency preparedness with numerous first aid stations, quarterly checks by staff to identify hazards and a yearly mock exercise to simulate a chemical spill.
But she also credited her grower-customers for making the company’s environmental stance possible. “Of course, we couldn’t have won this award without our workers, but I would also like to acknowledge the role our farmers played as well,” said McCormick. “They are all very involved in following good the stewardship practices we preach, and I’m very proud of them.”