2001 Regional Winner

Agland Coop - Oakland, NE

For Reed Nelsen, agronomy division manager for Agland Coop, Oakland, NE, the decision to become an environmental leader was a simple matter of choosing to be safe rather than sorry.

"In this day, when one major accident can ruin an ag retailer, there really was no other choice to make," Nelsen says.

To this end, Agland has been involved in several environmental programs with its local grower-customers. For the past decade or so, the cooperative has hosted a series of outdated chemical pick-ups in conjunction with state officials. Agland also has conducted a series of plastic chemical jug recycling programs. While these examples of environmental stewardship are impressive, Nelsen insists Agland's biggest contribution to this movement is its Oakland facility.

The plant features several environmental safety features that Nelsen describes as being "beyond normal regulatory requirements," including a loading dock top designed with a slight slope to catch spills.