Source: Agricultural Retailers Association

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) announced the winners of its most prestigious awards at its annual convention and expo this week. ARA named Central Valley Ag of O'Neill, Neb., as its Retailer of the Year.

The Distinguished Service Award was given to Kim Bohlander with Dow AgroSciences. And the winner of Jack Eberspacher Lifetime Achievement Award was Bill Griffith, one of the original National Ag Retailers Association (NARA) founders.

ARA honored Congressmen Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) with the Legislators of the Year Award. Since both men are also involved in their own family farms, they understand the needs of the agriculture industry and work tirelessly on issues that ensure a productive future for America's farmers and agribusiness.


The Retailer of the Year Award is sponsored by Monsanto, ARA and AgProfessional magazine and honors those retailers who represent the very best in the industry. Retail outlets nominated for the award are evaluated based on innovative business practices, community and industry leadership, environmental stewardship, reliability, technology utilization, customer service and effective employee development programs.


"ARA is pleased to recognize the successes of Central Valley Cooperative with our Retailer of the Year Award. It's important for the industry to publicly recognize its star performers so that the public and policymakers understand our industry," said ARA President & CEO Daren Coppock. "Ag retailers make significant contributions to feeding the world and responsible stewardship of our natural resources. CVA is a great representative of the industry and very deserving of the 2010 award."


For the past seven years, CVA has served farmers in central and eastern Nebraska. CVA's 350 employees strive to stay on the leading edge of technology and innovation to meet the needs of their more than 10,000 customers.


"CVA and our dedicated employee group have always worked very hard at being innovative through leadership. Innovation in itself, however, is not the answer. We always need to ask ourselves, 'Did we bring value to our customers?' The answer is absolutely. We not only were innovative in our approach to what we recommended on their fields, but we served them with the highest level of integrity, earning their trust in our forward thinking strategies," said Doug Derscheid, CEO of Central Valley Ag. "It is truly an honor being selected to receive this prestigious award by the Industry and our peers. Through this award, I believe our customers will continue to see that CVA is a true industry leader."


To ensure the success of each farmer, Central Valley Ag's agronomy division works with their customers on an individual basis to establish a unique plan to improve each farmer's yields and profitability. In addition to monitoring growth and development, CVA's Advance Cropping Systems uses infrared sensing technology and soil sampling to help adjust nutrient needs during the growing season. This system also enables farmers to be more environmentally-friendly on their operation and serves as another example of how CVA meets the needs of the present while ensuring a profitable future for their customers.


"We're putting all of our assets and resources into building infrastructure to make sure that CVA will be here in the future and servicing our customers in the next generations," said Karl Hensley, CVA's vice president of agronomy.


To learn more about Central Valley Ag, visit www.cvacoop.com.