Wanted: Innovative, tech-savvy, environmentally conscious and community-minded ag retailer with outstanding employees and a solid track record. Must be able to build and maintain customer, industry and community relationships. Successful applicant will be recognized as the Agricultural Retailers Association Retailer of the Year for 2017.

“Ag retailers make significant contributions to feeding the world and responsible stewardship of our natural resources,” says ARA president and CEO Daren Coppock. “The organizations ARA has recognized with this award are representative of the commitment we share to farmers, the rural economy and the broader agricultural community.”

The award, presented by Monsanto and AgPro, recognizes the best in ag retail annually. Retailer of the Year is a symbol of quality and an emblem of prestige. Past winners include Gar Tootelian, The Andersons, NEW Cooperative, Morral Companies, South Dakota Wheat Growers and the Lyman/Tremont Group.

“We were truly honored by the award,” says Lee Sundermeyer, sales manager for Morral Companies, which was recognized in 2013.

Retailers are judged based on seven criteria: effective employee relations, environmental stewardship and sustainability, reliability, community and industry leadership, civic involvement, technology utilization and business innovation.

The process has changed slightly for 2017. The application has been streamlined, and retailers may apply directly for the award. 

The winner will be recognized at the ARA Conference & Expo from Nov. 28 to Nov. 30 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

The winning retailer will receive two round-trip airline tickets to the ARA Conference & Expo, two-night accommodations at the Arizona Biltmore, dinner with Monsanto representatives and ARA officers, a special award presentation at the ARA Conference & Expo and a cut lead crystal award suitable for display. The Retailer of the Year will be featured in a two-page article in AgPro that spotlights the winning retail facility. The winner also receives a round-trip flight to St. Louis and accommodations for a tour of Monsanto’s biotech research facility and a meeting with senior executives.

The submission deadline is June 30. Apply online at www.aradc.org/ROY.