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News and Reports > Ag Pilots Recognized for Environmental Stewardship

Ag Pilots Recognized for Environmental Stewardship

Stoneville, MS – Six ag pilots were recently recognized for exemplary environmental stewardship. Selected pilots were ranked highest among their peers based on criteria established through the A.C.E. Pilot Program. Those pilots selected for recognition include Kelly Peeler of Producers Flying in Yazoo City, MS, Casey Novak of Ferriday Flying Service in Ferriday, LA, Paul Riddell of A & L Farm Services in Helena, AR, Matthew Brignac of Brignac Flying Services in Columbus, MS, Gary Couey of Planters Flying Service in James Crossing, MS and Glenn Holloway, Jr. of Holloway Air Service in Drew, MS.

Mark Kimmel, former President of the Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association and Itta Bena, MS based ag pilot pointed out that “many pilots take additional, voluntary steps to ensure that they have no environmental impact.” Kimmel continued, “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 A.C.E. (Applicators Conserving the Environment) Pilot Program was developed to recognize top environmental stewards in the ag aviation industry and to incentivize other pilots to become better stewards. Those organizations involved in developing, administering and validating the program included 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.

All licensed aerial applicators in Mississippi who were members of the Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association in 2010, 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.

Karl Holcomb, President of the Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association presented each A.C.E. Pilot with a plaque and a cash award for $1,500.00 at the recent Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association’s annual meeting in Bay Saint Louis, MS. Each pilot will also receive a sign for their place of business, recognizing their achievement.