Nutrien Ag Solutions – Lumsden - Lumsden, Saskatchewan
Nestled amidst the marigold-splashed prairies of western Canada, Nutrien Ag Solutions in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, is this year’s Canada honoree for the 2018 Environmental Respect Awards.
The 10-year-old retail fertilizer and crop protection facility, just off the main highway that runs north-south between the province capitol in Regina to its largest metro area, Saskatoon, is a living testament to Nutrien’s top-to-bottom ethos of environmental stewardship and employee safety.
“We take pride in doing it, and doing it right, ya’ know,” Location Manager Ian Douhaniuk says. “The containment facilities that we have in place, the concrete pads under each bin. Any spill gets cleaned up immediately and contained, right? We’re reducing that environmental impact and the run-off that could occur.”
Alongside Douhaniuk is right-hand man and Operations Manager Trevor Steinke, who supervises much of the day-to-day operation on-site, freeing up the boisterous Douhaniuk to focus on big-picture stuff as well as interacting with grower-customers alongside agronomist Christopher Pile. A game plan that is clearly paying dividends.
“It starts with the guys on-site and all the training (they go through),” Steinke says. “That is a really big stress when you start with Agrium/Nutrien. Safety, of course, is our No. 1 concern. Then comes the overall health and well-being of our employees and their families, and next is environmental. And they (Nutrien) really push it. It’s not just lip service.”
One such area in which Lumsden shines in particular is in educating farmers on the latest nutrient stewardship practices, hammering home the importance of adhering to 4R principles alongside a brisk variable-rate fertilizer application business that Douhaniuk expects will continue to grow exponentially in the next three to five years.
“It’s about us doing things right for the future, and then passing that knowledge onto our growers to do things environmentally correct and sustainable for the future generations on their farm,” Douhaniuk says. “That’s where we have a big play.”
Another major focus at Lumsden is community outreach. The group plays a particularly active role in that regard, sponsoring the local Highway Hockey League team, as well as a plethora of local high school athletic programs, youth scholarships, and other activities.
Looking back, however, it is perhaps Douhaniuk’s and Crew’s most practical tenet that sticks with this author.
“Our main goal is to send each employee home safe every night to their families, that’s a key for us,” Douhaniuk says, practically beaming. “Everything is in place for a reason, and if we continue to do things the right way, we’ll make that goal a reality for our employees every single day.”