You technology-minded ag retailers need to be recognized for your influence and assistance in improving agricultural operations, and that is why there are three Precision Impact Awards being presented again this year.

Let the world know that you are providing environmentally responsible advice and services to farmers that will ultimately allow U.S. farmers to produce a huge share of the world’s food to feed those nine billion plus people who will populate the earth by 2050.

Precision agriculture is a big part of how agriculture will continue to improve production and sustainability. What is your local operation doing to help your customers be the best farmers possible by using the latest technology? Tell us through your Precision Impact Award entry.

This award is designed to provide an outlet to show that ag retailers using precision ag technology are good stewards, responsible environmentalists, technologically savvy, leaders in economic return on investment, educators of their customers and overall agricultural innovators.

The Precision Impact Awards program was initiated last year by AgProfessional and the Agricultural Retailers Association. It was a huge success with several good entries from each of three regions of the country. The award program was established to be an ongoing program of recognition to show that the ag retail industry, not just a very few, are leaders and innovators.

Because there are so many deserving companies, this is why last year’s winners are not eligible to enter this year’s program. The judging panel selecting the winning three entries last year said it was a hard decision to pick three for recognition; and those who entered but didn’t win should definitely enter again this year.

Winners of the Precision Impact Awards are judged on five criteria. Accomplishing each of the criteria is something top ag retailers are doing every day. We’ve provided some hints on what might be classified as an accomplishment for each criteria as part of the entry form. The criteria for judging are:

  • Input efficiency using Precision Technology
  • Grower Engagement and Encouragement of Customer Use
  • Stewardship for the Environment
  • Overall Innovative Use of Precision Technology
  • Bottom-line Profitability for the Company and Customers

The country is split into three regions for the award program: South Region, North Region and Plains/West Region. The lines drawn for the regions are such that there are similar numbers of ag retail operations that could enter the recognition program. The map of regions is on the AgProfessional website with the entry form. It should be noted that an entry is judged for the region where the headquarters is located, even if the local operation being evaluated is across a regional border.

This is a recognition program for a local operation, not for a regional distributor. If an operation is part of a regional ag retail chain, the award definitely needs to go to the local operation and the local leader/manager who has justified local investment by regional management and shown return on investment. As was the case last year, companies and cooperatives that have multiple outlets serving a small portion of the U.S. are treated as local.

Besides earning national and local recognition for the local operation and manager, each winning operation receives two free registrations to the ARA Conference and Expo, Dec. 1-3 in Palm Desert, Calif; two round-trip airline tickets to Palm Desert, Calif.; and two nights’ accommodations at the J.W. Marriott in Palm Desert.

Recognition includes a trophy presented during a general session of the ARA Conference, a short video presentation played during the award presentation and eventually loaded on the AgProfessional website, a feature article in AgProfessional magazine highlighting the winning retailer operation and, as needed, assistance in disseminating news about the accomplishment to national, local and regional media.

It was my pleasure to visit each winning operation last year and do the videography, and I’m looking forward to doing it again this year.

Entry deadline is Aug. 31, 2015, and the electronic entry form is available by going to www.AgProfessional.com and clicking the Precision Impact Award in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Although entry via the electronic form is all that is necessary, I must note that those who won last year provided considerably more information via attachments and e-mail. If the website will not allow attachment of documents, giving you problems, etc., you can contact Amanda Sayre at (913) 438-0618 or asayre@vancepublishing.com.

If you simply want to send your entry via e-mail to me directly, my e-mail is rkeller@vancepublishing.com. Flag it as high importance so that I don’t miss it. Any questions about the program can also be directed to me. I’m on the road much of the time, but you can phone me, and I’ll return your call as soon as possible—(913) 438-0708.

Please, don’t put off entering this recognition program even though the deadline isn’t until Aug. 31.