2002 Regional Winner

Aero Applicators Inc. - Sterling, CO

When Darrel Mertens, president and manager of Aero Applicators Inc., Sterling, CO, took over the company, he was guided by four principles taught to him by his father.

"Always use the safest equipment available, take the best care of the equipment you can, do the best job possible, and be as efficient as you can be," he says.

Not surprisingly, these principles not only led to a better-run operation, but a more environmentally friendly one -- loading pads for aerial and ground application fully sealed, well maintained applicators, and diked fertilizer and chemical storage areas keep product out of harm's way.

"The environment is very important to me as a business owner, husband, father, and community member," says Mertens. "It is up to each of us to protect the natural resources for future generations."