2014 Regional Winner

Crop Production Services — Boyce, LA

Situated amongst numerous corn fields and magnolia trees, not too far from the Alexandria, LA, International Airport, Crop Production Services (CPS) of Boyce, LA, looks every bit the example of good stewardship. The grounds are clean and well maintained. The warehouse floors are not only sloped to contain product spills, but constantly swept. The fenced facility even features a decorative garden area located between its main building and product warehouse – a reminder to visitors that the outlet helps promote plant health to its customers and the surrounding community.

Despite its obvious environmental-friendly touches, Robbie Scarborough Sr., marketing manager South for CPS Boyce, says it was something of a shock when the facility was awarded a regional honor in the 2014 Environmental Respect Award competition, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection with assistance from CropLife magazine.

"Winning a regional award was unexpected," says Scarborough. "I couldn't believe it, partly because our facility had never even entered this competition before this year. But it's a real honor to be recognized for all our efforts when it comes to environmental stewardship."

Of course, adds Scarborough, a large part of this environmental focus comes from parent CPS itself. "Originally, our outlet was part of the United Agri Products/Tri-State network and in a much older facility," he says. "When CPS purchased us, the company fast-tracked putting us into a brand new facility. CPS has a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and wanted to make sure our operation was properly equipped to maintain that corporate culture."

The current facility was completed in 2011. Its many environmental-friendly features include a loading/unloading pad where bulk chemical and fertilizer transfer takes place, full containment in the product warehouse and an eye wash station in the corner of the bulk containment pad for easy access. In addition, each employee has their own personal protective equipment given to them when they are hired which consists of gloves, aprons, goggles, boots, ear plugs and rubber boots. These materials are replenished by CPS Boyce as needed, adds Scarborough.

CPS Boyce's stewardship efforts extend well beyond the facility grounds themselves, however. For the past 20 years, says Kathy Stokes, office manager, the outlet has participated in the local 4-H and Future Farmers of America chapters. In 2014, the company took part in the local Susan B. Komen - Walk for the Cure event. "We plan to make this event a CPS tradition for years to come," adds Stokes.

Furthermore, spreading the good word on environmental practices for CPS Boyce extends to other levels as well. "We work with the Department of Agriculture and our local Extension service on a daily basis to promote a safe environment for customers and our community," says Stokes. "We have hosted numerous trainings for our customers on product applications and how to calibrate sprayers so that the chemicals are applied properly. We've held classes for our customers on Workers Protection Standards.

"A large number of people depend upon the land and water for income, which supplies a great portion of food for our population," she concludes. "As long as everyone follows the safety of products, they will assure the environment is safe and protected for future generations."