Six Mississippi ag pilots were recently recognized for exemplary environmental stewardship. Selected pilots were ranked highest among their peers based on criteria established through the Applicators Conserving the Environment Pilot Program.
Those pilots selected for recognition include: Skeet Edwards of Edwards Flying Service in Leland, Miss.; David Habig of Dixie Dusters in Itta Bena, Miss.; Gerald Jones of Valley Air Applicators in Indianola, Miss.; Billy Ray Kent of Snow Brake Air Service in Greenwood, Miss.; Kelly Peeler of Producers Flying in Yazoo City Miss.; and Chuck Travis of Cottonwing Air in Indianola, Miss.
Glenn Holloway, a member of the A.C.E. Pilot Program Steering Committee and Drew, Miss.-based ag pilot pointed out that “many pilots take additional, voluntary steps to ensure that they have no environmental impact. The A.C.E. Pilot Program now affords us the opportunity to identify the best pilots among us in their efforts to protect our natural resources.”
The Applicators Conserving the Environment Pilot Program was developed to recognize top environmental stewards in the ag aviation industry and to encourage others pilots to become better stewards.
All licensed aerial applicator in Mississippi who were members of the Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association in 2009 and had no proven drift violations within the past 24 months were eligible to participate in the A.C.E. Pilot Program. Each participant completed a questionnaire that documented their experience, track record and voluntary environmental stewardship efforts.
Mark Kimmel, president of the Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association, presented each A.C.E. Pilot with a plaque and a cash award for $1,500 at the recent Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association annual meeting in Bay Saint Louis, Miss. Each pilot will also receive a sign for their place of business, recognizing their achievement.
Organizations involved in developing, administering and validating the program include CropLife America, Delta Council, Delta F.A.R.M., Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association, Mississippi Ag Industry Council, Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Monsanto, Southern Crop Protection Association, Syngenta, USDA Agricultural Research Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.