|Madison County Cooperative Facilities Undergo Major Enviro-Friendly Improvements|
General Mgr. Keith Griffin Garners Stewardship Award
Spending a lot of money on environmental improvements at a farming cooperative can be a daunting decision to make, but Keith Griffin just "bit the bullet" and did it, knowing the future of his facility would be the ultimate beneficiary.
During the past decade, the general manager of Madison County Cooperative, Inc. has spent an estimated $750,000 on everything from containment improvements to storage facilities.
At the 75th annual meeting of Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC) on February 15, 2012, in Montgomery, President Tommy Paulk described Griffin’s efforts as an "outstanding example" of confronting a challenge and winning.
"It is with admiration and pride that I present to you this year’s recipient of the President’s Environmental Stewardship Award," Paulk told Griffin.
Prior to announcing Griffin’s name, Paulk provided details on just what he did and how the money was used to improve his 13-acre Co-op facility in Madison County.
A decade ago, a concrete containment area was constructed for the storage of liquid-bulk crop protection products.
"Concrete pads were poured and sheds were built to store commercial, crop-nutrient spreaders and tenders, making it easier for cleanups and equipment maintenance," Paulk stated.
In 2009, a large, earthen dike was built for containment for a 400,000-gallon N-sol storage tank.
Mobile pressure washers were added, enabling an equipment wash. A completely-enclosed, crop-nutrient house was built during the same year with containment for thousands of tons of bulk inventories.
The following year, Griffin built a concrete pad for a stainless-steel tank to aid in crop protection.
Not to be outdone by those improvements last year, Griffin built another large, enclosed, crop-nutrient containment house for 3,000 tons of bulk inventories.
During the same year, Griffin initiated a policy of using drift-control agents when commercially-applying crop-protection products. A containment area was also established for the storage of empty containers of crop-protection products.
Before 2012 is over, Griffin is planning containment for four horizontal 22,000-gallon tanks storing liquid crop nutrients and a roof over the liquid bulk pesticide tank area.
Griffin expressed his appreciation to Cooperative Financial Services for assisting him in obtaining the funds he needed to make his environmental improvements.
"It seems what I’m doing is an ongoing thing that never ends," he said, during an interview after Paulk congratulated him and presented him with prizes for his accomplishments.
When Griffin began his improvements 10 years ago, he decided to take small steps at first and make them last over a long period of time.
"I knew I was being considered for this award, but I don’t know if we deserve it because so much more needs to be done," he said. "But I still appreciate the recognition we have received."
Alvin Benn is a freelance writer from Selma.