Christina and Andy Stender, owners of Crowfoot Ag Solutions in Strathmore, Alta., were very excited when they won the 2016 North America Environmental Respect Award for Canada. Christina Stender says winning the award now puts them on a different level from their competitors.

“It comes down to that we’re a family-owned business, and it was important to us to make sure that we were respectful of the environment,” says her husband, Andy Stender. “As such, we were required to take the additional measures to make sure that our facility and operations were at least industry standard, and then we chose to make it above. We’re under a constant state of improvement.”

He says that the criteria for the award focused on a variety of factors, ranging from the construction of the facilities to onsite safety protocols, documentation, paperwork and staff training.

“Aspects of our business where we handle and promote variable-rate fertility, crop scouting – the important aspects of environmental stewardship in terms of making recommendations in the field – that’s the high point,” says Andy Stender.

He adds that community outreach and support programs run by Crowfoot Ag were a big part of qualifying for the award. Crowfoot Ag attends a safety day camp for kids at local urban and rural schools. “Members of our staff would go and teach local rural and urban children about safety in general, but also safety on farms, farm animals and farm pesticides,” says Andy Stender.

Adding to that, their storage facility is a large, concrete dome which Andy Stender says requires very little structural maintenance for the first 25 years. “It allowed us to put all of our blending equipment within the building so as to minimize the amount of environmental exposure to the fertilizer and dust,” he says. “In the event that there is a spill, those kinds of things are all contained within the building.”

The Environmental Respect Awards have been presented to agri-retailers around the world for their dedication to protecting and preserving the environment throughout their operations. Since they began 27 years ago, the awards continue to honour accomplishments ranging from customer service and safety to plant-site compliance and proper application techniques.

Read more about the Environmental Respect Awards in our July 2016 edition of the Communicator.

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