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FARGO - The winners of the 2008 North Dakota Outstanding Pesticide Dealer of the Year and Outstanding Applicator of the Year awards have "been there, done that."
"I'm pleased to announce that Mott Grain and Agronomy of Mott, and Tory Haugland of Devils Lake, the 2007 Winners of these awards, have again been chosen for these honors," said Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson. "The competition of both awards was strong, but the judges felt that last year's winners deserved to win again."
Haugland and Todd Kautzman, owner-manager of Mott Grain and Agronomy, received the awards during the annual meeting of the North Dakota Agricultural Association, Tuesday, during the Northern Ag Expo in Fargo.
"Todd and Tory are examples for the entire industry," said Jim Gray, pesticide, feed and fertilizer team leader in the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, who presented the awards on Johnson's behalf. "Their emphasis on customer service, safety and their concern for the environment demonstrate to all of us how we can protect human health and our land and water resources."
"Outstanding dealers and applicators promote good stewardship of soil, water and air through the safe and proper use of plant nutrient and crop protection products," said Gary Knutson, executive director of the North Dakota Agricultural Association. "We are proud to recognize these people and companies for excellence in customer service and environmental awareness."
Kautzman has owned and operated Mott Grain and Agronomy since 1996. With six employees, the company is a full service fertilizer, seed, and pesticide dealer, offering custom application, custom seed treatment, and noxious week control. They also sell application equipment and parts.
Kautzman said his favorite part of his job is being out with producers, helping them with their operations and watching crops grow. He said that while there is increased competition in the industry, the larger size of today's farms and lack of hired help puts a premium on businesses like Mott Grain to provide high quality service.
Earlier this year, Mott Grain and Agronomy was awarded the prestigious Environmental Respect Award, sponsored by CropLife America and DuPont Crop Protection (www.environmentalrespect.com).
Gray said the awards are based on a number of criteria, including recordkeeping, knowledge of the law and regulations, pesticide storage, bulk pesticide repackaging, proper handling and storage of fumigants, personal protective equipment and overall appearance, cleanliness, and professionalism.
North Dakota Department of Agriculture pesticide inspectors nominate businesses for the applicator and dealer awards. There are more that 3,750 certified commercial applicators and more than 300 agricultural pesticide dealerships in North Dakota