MFA Agri-Services - Centralia, MO
Editor’s note: MFA Agri-Services was one of four retailers named 2017 Environmental Respect Award winner for the North America Region. The Missouri retailer was also one of four companies honored as a 2017 Ambassador of Respect during a ceremony in July 2017 in Wilmington, DE, home of ERA sponsor DuPont Crop Protection. Here is an inside look at MFA Agri-Services.
Since first joining MFA Agri-Services in Centralia, MO, in 1987, Manager Jim Gesling has watched the facility he oversees steadily increase its environmental footprint. The outlet was originally opened in 1956, and has continued to upgrade to constantly maintain stewardship in this town of 4,000. Among the upgrades were the building of a new maintenance shop to service equipment and keep its dry fertilizer under a roof. To further protect the area’s watershed, MFA Centralia insists on using automatic shut-off valves and direct-injection systems on its sprayers.
“We also don’t hot load at our facility,” says Gesling. “Instead, our applicators do all their loading in the fields they are in before spraying.”
For these and many other reasons, MFA Centralia has been named a regional winner in the 2017 Environmental Respect program. “I’m very proud we have won this honor,” says Gesling. “I’m especially proud of the crew and company we have that has allowed us to maintain this level of stewardship over the years.”
In fact, Gesling credits the MFA employees themselves with spearheading one of the company’s foremost safety programs called SHIELD. Short for the phrase “Safe Habits Improve Employees Lives Daily,” SHIELD is an employee-driven effort where all safety conversations, actions, and suggestions among co-workers are encouraged, required, and rewarded. “This program allows employees, both new to experienced, to bring safety concerns to the forefront and encourages working together as a team to improve our workplace safety and environmental conditions,” he says.
In Centralia itself, MFA was instrumental in helping upgrade the town’s baseball fields. According to Gesling, the company received some help through the MFA Foundation to pay for this project, particularly the 38 loads of fill dirt required to overhaul the existing diamonds. “But all the labor came from volunteers, including many of the workers here at the MFA facility,” he says.