Congratulations to Tim McArdle, Executive Vice President & COO of Brandt Consolidated, Inc., on becoming the new chairman of the board of ResponsibleAg. McArdle is a strong proponent of ResponsibleAg, frequently sharing ResponsibleAg's story with others in the industry and making it a priority to have Brandt' facilities become certified.
Many thanks to outgoing chairman of the board, Billy Pirkle, who became ResponsibleAg's first chairman back in 2014 and has championed the initiative passionately during his tenure. "Billy has been a part of ResponsibleAg from the very beginning and has worked countless hours to get this initiative off the ground," says McArdle. "His support, knowledge and involvement has been integral in the success of ResponsibleAg."Back to Top
Next time you visit Responsibleag.org, you'll find a new home page with a fresh new look and more user-friendly navigation. The redesigned website is part of ResponsibleAg's renewed efforts to tell the organization's positive story to agribusinesses, producers, regulators and the public. The website also is now mobile-friendlier.
There are six distinct sections on the home page, so visitors can easily find information about the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, the audit process, reasons to join, who in the industry already supports the initiative, how to become a ResponsibleAg credentialed auditor and how to register to become a member. New videos highlight the wide-ranging library of educational tools available to members. Under the News tab, you'll find links to the latest Newsletter. And you also can check out the latest Faces of ResponsibleAg. Do you want to know the number of certified facilities and the number of audits completed to date? Just check the latest stats in the upper right corner of the Home Page.
The Participants section also received a modest facelift to make the valuable assets easier to find, but it retained the functions and general layout members have become comfortable with.
There are more than a hundred new features available on the website including the Online Store where you will find about 60 of the most commonly purchased ResponsibleAg items, available with economical volume-based pricing.
Be sure to check out ResponsibleAg.org!Back to Top
The annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held in Bloomington, Ill., at the Asmark Institute Agricenter on August 21-22, 2018. The safety school provides those in the agricultural industry valuable insight into a host of regulatory topics the industry faces. The program includes an outstanding lineup of national speakers from industry, state and federal agencies. The school is the premier event for EH&S professionals to network with their peers, and nearly 150 individuals from across the country with EH&S responsibilities are expected to attend.
This year's program marks the 40th anniversary of the school. Each attendee will receive a Limited Edition 1956 Ford F-100 Truck scale model commemorating this milestone. Pre-registration is $150 per participant. After August 15, registration increases to $195, so register soon to take advantage of the cost savings. Visit naehss.org for more information and to register.
This year's keynote speaker is Jay Vroom, President & CEO of CropLife America. Other notable speakers are Tom Bray with J.J. Keller & Associates, Brian Bothast with OSHA and Dr. Fred Whitford with Purdue Pesticide Programs. ARA and TFI will provide a ResponsibleAg Program Update as well as Updates by the Hill. Matt Pearson with the Office of the Indiana State Chemist will discuss Concrete Containment: Repair or Replace? Nancy Fitz with U.S. EPA is leading a panel discussion on the new Worker Protection Standard changes. The school has been held in conjunction with IFCA's MAGIE Show in Bloomington since the early 2000's, and participants are encouraged to visit the show Wednesday afternoon after the safety school. Show your safety school name badge for free admission to MAGIE.Back to Top
There's still time to R.S.V.P. for the ResponsibleAg dinner for credentialed auditors. This special event recognizing auditors is August 21st in conjunction with the 40th Annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health and Safety School in Bloomington, Ill. Dinner will be held at 5:30 pm with a reception beginning at 5:00 pm.
Since the start of ResponsibleAg in 2014, more than 2,100 audits have been completed by 116 credentialed auditors. In addition, more than 1,100 facilities have been certified. These milestones would not have been possible without the efforts of the credentialed auditors.
During the dinner, Clark Capwell representing the ResponsibleAg Technical Committee, will highlight the new features and services introduced this summer. Send your R.S.V.P. by the end of today! If you have questions, contact the Helpdesk at 270-683-6777 or by email at Helpdesk@ResponsibleAg.org.Back to Top
ResponsibleAg has a new brochure explaining the goal of ResponsibleAg and the benefits of earning ResponsibleAg certification. Preview the ResponsibleAg brochure here!
Brochures are designed as a handout or for mailing and will fit a #10 envelope. Your business can make the new brochure your own by adding your company logo to the piece. To order brochures, visit the Store at ResponsibleAg.org and follow the directions to order, with or without your company's logo. Non-branded brochures are free. There is a small fee for printing your company logo on the brochures.Back to Top
In the July newsletter, we announced that newly certified facilities would be receiving a totally new Certification Kit. ResponsibleAg will start sending these kits in August to congratulate and recognize facility personnel for their efforts to become Committed, Compliant, Safe and Certified! The kit contains tools to get the word out to employees and the community about this important achievement. Here's a look at the kit you'll receive in the mail when your facility completes or renews certification.Back to Top
ResponsibleAg is committed to safety and is a proud supporter of the Safe + Sound Campaign.
Join us in supporting Safe + Sound Week with a few workplace activities to help increase your employees' awareness of safety. If you need some ideas, there are examples and tools at the OSHA Safe + Sound website. After you've wrapped up your events, you can download a certificate and web badge to recognize your organization and your employees. Need more inspiration? Watch this webinar to get ideas from last year.Back to Top
Hiring drivers for the spring of 2020 is probably not near the top of your To-Do List, but you may need to move it up a few lines. DOT's Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule becomes effective in the spring of 2020. It will be especially important for drivers in these three scenarios:
The new ELDT rule has minimum training requirements that include mandatory theory or knowledge training and a behind-the-wheel training program. For an HME, the mandatory theory training must be provided by a Training Provider listed on DOT's Training Provider Registry. The rule also includes training curriculum specifically for a driver seeking an HMD. Because of these changes, companies that have "grown their own" drivers in the past, may need to rely on drivers that are trained elsewhere.
Without preparing, in the spring of 2020, you could face dilemmas when you advertise for drivers and no one applies — or, a lot of people apply and expect you to put them through the training before they can work. Maneuvering this is going to require some planning and strategy. If you haven't already had these discussions in your company, it is not too early to start. For more information, check out this helpful Entry-Level Driver Training FAQ from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.Back to Top
The DOT has released a plan to overhaul the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scoring system. Plans are to develop an Item Response Theory (IRT) model to replace the current Safety Measurement System (SMS), much like the way SMS replaced SafeStat. DOT will leave SMS in place while testing the IRT model to gauge effectiveness. Goals include improving the quality of data used to score carriers as well as making it easier for carriers to understand their safety scores. This will most likely result in more of an absolute scoring system rather than a comparison of carriers to their peers. These changes will happen over a two-year period, beginning with a small-scale test in September. Full rollout is expected in April 2019 with evaluation of the results after that.Back to Top
The 2019 Auditor Training Course will be held June 18-21, 2019, at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, Ky., a former agrichemical facility retrofitted specifically for training purposes. Seats for this comprehensive ‘hands-on' course are limited to 24 for the four-day training. Sign up today while seats are still available! For more information, visit responsibleag.org/Training.Back to Top
ResponsibleAg thanks the Southwestern Fertilizer Conference for its generous $2,500 donation. Each year, the conference identifies organizations that have a beneficial impact on the fertilizer industry and follows through with a generous donation. In a letter from the conference's executive director, Pat Miller, ResponsibleAg received the donation because of its outstanding effectiveness.Back to Top
If you're involved with the organization, you've likely worked with Ewa Oller, ResponsibleAg program manager and one of Asmark's customer service department staff. After five years with the organizations, Ewa and her family are moving to Florida for a job opportunity her husband Brad has with the Department of Homeland Security.
"My daily contact with clients, ResponsibleAg program participants and auditors was what I really enjoyed. I worked with a group of amazing individuals that I built valuable relationships with and feel extremely lucky to call my friends," says Oller.
What is Ewa looking forward to the most in Florida? She jokes and says ‘sun, beach and plenty of fun.'
"On a more serious note, as a family we've lived, worked and studied in multiple countries on three different continents. We're excited for this next step in our lives and the opportunities that a big city has to offer. This is a long-term investment into a better future for my husband and me, our two-year-old daughter and our baby boy, due in early October," she says.
August 3rd was her last day. We wish Ewa and her family great success and happiness in Florida.Back to Top
The 2018 ResponsibleAg Auditor Training Course was well attended and many of the attendees have completed the process to become credentialed. We welcome these new auditors to the ResponsibleAg team!
Welcome to these facilities that have recently received certification from ResponsibleAg and are now Committed, Compliant, Safe, and Certified. Congratulations to all!
ResponsibleAg is an industry-led initiative committed to helping agribusinesses properly store and handle farm input supplies. The program helps members ensure they are compliant with environmental, health, safety and security regulations to keep employees, customers and our communities safe.