2018 North America, Ambassador Winner

Helena Agri-Enterprises - Dillsboro, IN

Helena’s Joe Olson (left) and Corteva’s Ryan Nelson.

Editor’s note: Helena Agri-Enterprises was one of five retailers named 2018 Environmental Respect Award winner for the 2018 North America Region. The Indiana-based retailer was also one of four companies honored as a 2018 Ambassador of Respect during a ceremony in October 2018 in Washington, DC, by ERA sponsor Corteva AgriScience. Here is an inside look at Helena Agri-Enterprises.

Driving east on U.S. Highway 50 near the town of Dillsboro, IN, observers will eventually come across a Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC outlet that looks brand new. However, as Area Branch Manager Joe Olson is quick to point out, this isn’t the case.

“This facility dates back several decades, originally serving as a John Deere dealership,” Olson says. “Helena purchased it from the previous owner back in 2008. But we did conduct a major renovation in 2017 to give it its current look, to not only better service our customers but to be more environmentally sound as well.”

Based upon upgrades, the Helena Dillsboro facility has been awarded a regional honor in the annual Environmental Respect Awards, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience with support from CropLife® magazine. “It feels pretty good to be recognized for our upgrades but a little surreal,” Olson says. “Still, it’s nice to receive some validation for what we’ve tried to do to improve our facility.”

Overhead view of the Helena Dillsboro outlet.

In truth, Olson says, the Helena Dillsboro outlet was running quite well before the upgrade.

However, when the elderly gentleman who owned the nearby plot of land passed away, the company saw an opportunity to upgrade and extend its footprint. Purchasing this land, Helena Dillsboro reconfigured its entire complex, adding a dedicated office building, chemical warehouse, and dry fertilizer facility while expanding its seed warehouse.

According to Olson, one of the key improvements Helena Dillsboro was able to make was ensuring the water used in and around the facility was protected. “We were always sensitive to protecting the water flow around us, mainly because there are at least two natural springs on-site,” he says. “Our location is situated on the side of a hill that drains along the entire length of the property into a small ditch. When we built the new facility, we made sure that drainage around the facility was addressed in such a way that it would not put the fresh water in the ditch in any danger of being contaminated, even with heavy rains.” Helena Dillsboro also enclosed its dry fertilizer load-out and moved the majority of its liquid fertilizer load-out under roof to avoid any issues.