Volume 26
Mar 10, 2019

ResponsibleAg Technical Committee Names Billy Pirkle Chairman

There’s nothing like joining a volunteer committee and immediately being put to work. J. Billy Pirkle, President of Pirkle Solutions Inc, joined the ResponsibleAg Technical Committee this winter and was elected Chairman at his first meeting. Well qualified to lead the group, Billy has a wealth of expertise in regulatory compliance and agency interaction gained during his time at the former Crop Production Services Inc., now Nutrien Ag Solutions. He previously served on the ResponsibleAg board of directors, among others. Congratulations Billy!

Industry Volunteers Guide ResponsibleAg

Thank you to the devoted industry professionals who volunteer to guide ResponsibleAg. In addition to our 12-member Board of Directors, ResponsibleAg is supported by communications and technical committees. A big shout out and thank you to all our past and current committee members.

Members of the Communications Committee work to create awareness of ResponsibleAg, and the work members are doing to ensure their facilities are compliant with environmental, health, safety and security regulations to keep employees, customers and our communities safe.

Communications Committee

Paul Poister, Nutrien, CHAIRBeverly Long, GROWMARK, Inc.
Melisa Augusto, ARAKathy Mathers, The Fertilizer Institute
Kathy Carlson, Simplot AgribusinessJean Payne, IFCA
Amber Duke, Asmark InstituteAllison Stahl, Yara North America
Dave Ito, Grow WestKrista Wolf, GROWMARK, Inc.
Monica Knickerbocker, Wilbur-EllisKathy Zander, SD Agri-Business Assn.

Technical Committee
J. Billy Pirkle, Pirkle Solutions, Inc., CHAIRRandy Crowell, Tennessee Farmers Coop.
Jerry Boger, Premier AgKevin Frye, GROWMARK
Tim Bogy, GreenPoint AGShawn Lambert, Co-Alliance
Josh Bossard, NutrienAlan Mahoney, Mahoney Safety, LLC
Clark Capwell, The McGregor CompanyDustin Warder, Asmark Institute
Brian Crets, Yara North America  

Back to Top

Find a Credentialed Auditor Near You

ResponsibleAg Auditor Map

Planning to have your facility audited in 2019? Check out this map of Contract and Internal Auditors throughout the United States. You’re sure to find an auditor near you. Now is a great time to select an auditor and schedule an audit before getting busy with the growing season. Credentialed auditors are at the heart of the ResponsibleAg Certification Program and deliver accurate and credible audits consistently across the entire organization.

Back to Top

Going, Going. . .
Only 4 Seats Remain for June 2019 Auditor Training Course

Only 4 seats remain for the 2019 Auditor Training Course that will be held June 18–21 at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. This comprehensive, four-day, ‘hands-on’ course is held in a former agrichemical facility retrofitted specifically for training purposes and it takes a very practical approach. Brian Miller is the course instructor and is well versed in the health, safety and security practices and regulatory compliance. To register for the course, click here.

Back to Top

Watch the Video to Prepare for the OSHA REP Inspection

Ensure you’re prepared for the OSHA Regional Emphasis Program (REP) inspection by watching this helpful video of a mock REP inspection. The video was created through a collaborative effort involving OSHA, TFI, ARA and ResponsibleAg. It is a resource to help prepare retail farm centers who haven’t been through the OSHA audit process. The 10-minute video gives a brief overview of what facilities should expect. It was filmed at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY, where the ResponsibleAg Auditor training is conducted. You also can find the video at under the News section by clicking the Media link, under the Participant section in Resources or find it on the OSHA website.

Back to Top

Plan Now for Safe + Sound 2019

OSHA Safe + Sound

Safe + Sound, OSHA's year-round campaign to encourage every workplace to have a safety and health program, includes both employers and workers. Participate in quarterly events on building an effective safety and health program in your workplace. Learn about best practices during webinars and put them into action during the 30-day challenges. These events also focus on management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing hazards. Share your safety successes during Safe + Sound Week, August 12-18, 2019. Sign up on the Safe + Sound website.

Back to Top

Audit Issues Awareness – Forklift, PIT Inspection & Maintenance

Forklift, PIT Inspection & Maintenance ranks as #3 on the ResponsibleAg list of Top 25 Audit Issues. This process ensures that all forklifts, end loaders and powered industrial trucks (PIT) are maintained in safe operating condition. Daily examination is required before these machines are placed in service and machines may not be placed in service if the examination shows any condition that adversely affects the safety of the vehicle. Where forklifts and PITs are used on a round-the-clock basis, they must be examined after each shift. Defects are required to be immediately reported and corrected. Need more information about these requirements and documentation? ResponsibleAg members can quickly access all the details by visiting the online Compliance Assistance Library. Within each compliance assistance document, there is a link to complete information about the regulations in question.

Back to Top

It's Time to Join ResponsibleAg

More than 2,560 facilities have signed up for the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 1,355 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to join today! For more information and to sign up, go to:

Back to Top

Online Store Offers ResponsibleAg Wearables, Promotional Items

Online Store Promotional Items

Check out ResponsibleAg’s handy online store. Whether you’re looking for employee incentives or a way to create awareness of your commitment to safety, health, the environment and security, the ResponsibleAg online store has lots of options. You’ll find everything from customizable shirts to sharp-looking caps, flash drives, floor mats, mouse pads, facility signage and window clings all emblazoned with the ResponsibleAg logo. Spread the word with ResponsibleAg brochures, available online and customizable for your operation. Visit the ResponsibleAg Store today!

Back to Top

News from Around the Industry

Insurance Companies Report 10 Most Common Workplace Injuries

Making safety a priority is one key way to control injuries and workers comp claims. Insurance companies around the country recently reported the top 10 reported worker's compensation injuries. Keep these top of mind as you plan your safety training program.

  1. On the Job Violent Acts
  2. Repetitive Motion Injuries
  3. Machine Entanglement
  4. Vehicle/Equipment Accidents
  5. Walking Into Injuries
  6. Falling Object Injuries
  7. Reaction Injuries
  8. Falling From Heights
  9. Slipping/Tripping
  10. Overexertion Injuries
You can read more about the full nature of these injuries and suggestions for preventing injury by clicking 10 Common Workplace Injuries.

Back to Top

OSHA Increases Penalty Amounts for 2019

The penalties for citations issued against employers for safety violations have gone up for 2019. OSHA has announced the adjustments for inflation. The maximum penalty that can be issued for serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirement citations increases to $13,260 per violation and the highest amount that can be issued for willful and repeat violations increases to $132,598 per violation. Going forward, expect to see these adjustments by January 15th of each new year.

Back to Top

OSHA Clarifies Penalty for Respiratory Hazards Not Covered by PELs

OSHA has issued a memo that clarifies its existing policy for developing citations under the general duty clause for respiratory hazards from exposure to an air contaminant that is not covered by an OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL). A PEL is the maximum allowable concentration for which workers may be exposed. OSHA has not updated its PELs in decades, but here are other entities that publish Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) such as EPA, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. In many instances, these OELs are lower than OSHA’s PELs.

The general duty clause requires each employer to "furnish to each of their employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm." You may find the full text of the memo on OSHA’s website.

Recordkeeping Reminder
― Post Injury/Illness Summary Through April 30

Annually from Feb. 1 through April 30, employers are required to post a copy of OSHA Form 300A. The summary must be displayed in a common area where notices to workers are usually posted. Businesses with no injuries or illnesses for the year must still post the form, and a company official must certify the information in was checked and is correct and complete. Businesses with 10 or fewer workers and those in certain low-hazard industries are not required to follow these recordkeeping and posting requirements. Visit OSHA's Recordkeeping Rule webpage for details.

March is National Ladder Safety Month

National Ladder Safety Month

Every year more than 100 people die in ladder-related accidents, and thousands suffer disabling injuries. Join the American Ladder Institute (ALI) and participate in the third annual National Ladder Safety Month February 24 - March 31. This important month was designed to raise awareness of ladder safety and to decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities. For information and promotional ideas visit National Ladder Safety Month.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

National Ladder Safety Month

Just one second of distraction behind the wheel is all takes to change a life forever. During the month of April, the National Safety Council is leading an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in workplaces, homes and communities. OSHA encourages employers and workers to make safe driving a priority. Visit the campaign website for public education materials to help eliminate fatalities caused by distracted driving.

Brian Miller is featured in March Faces of ResponsibleAg

CropLife Faces of ResponsibleAg

Historically, safety audits have been a dreaded necessity for the ag retail sector. But, as a true culture of safety transforms the industry, ResponsibleAg audits are viewed as a welcome opportunity to improve safety and the workplace environment for employees. Brian Miller explains how well-trained auditors lead the way. Read the article at

Back to Top

No Newsletter during April and May

We know you’ll be busy with Spring application and many other early growing season activities, so the ResponsibleAg Newsletter is taking a break. We’ll be back with our next issue on Monday, June 10. The Faces of ResponsibleAg will continue, so keep an eye on CropLife for perspectives on the effort and how your peers in the industry are using the program to make their operations Committed, Compliant and Safe.

More Facilities Earn ResponsibleAg Certification

It’s been a busy time for many ResponsibleAg-member facilities as they complete the certification process before spring application and planting activities begin. Welcome to these facilities that are now Committed, Compliant, Safe, and Certified. Congratulations to all!

AG Dist. - Caruthersville, MO
Ag Plus - South Whitley, IN
Briggs Crop Nutrient - Columbia City, IN
CHS, Inc. - Moccasin, MT
CHS, Inc. - Stevensville, MT
CHS, Inc. - Watertown, SD
Cocke Farmers Cooperative - Morristown, TN
Cocke Farmers Cooperative - Newport, TN
Consld. Agri Products, LLC - Rutherford, TN
Cullman Farmers Coop - Cullman, AL
EDC Ag Products Company LLC - Bryan, TX
EDC Ag Products Company LLC - Elkhart, TX
GreenPoint Ag - Des Arc, AR
Lincoln Farmers Coop - Petersburg, TN
Maury Farmers Cooperative - Columbia, TN
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Anthony, FL
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Benson, MN
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Maynard, MN
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Minot, ND
Obion Farmers Coop - Kenton, TN
Obion Farmers Coop - Union City, TN
Pinnacle Agricultural Dist., Inc. - Crowley, LA
Pinnacle Agricultural Dist., Inc. - Edson, KS
Pinnacle Agricultural Dist., Inc. - Kerman, CA
Pinnacle Agricultural Dist., Inc. - Minden, NE
Pinnacle Agricultural Dist., Inc. - Opp, AL
Pinnacle Agricultural Dist., Inc. - Sutton, NE
Pinnacle Agricultural Dist., Inc. - Urbana, IL
Pinnacle Agricultural Dist., Inc. - Volga, SD
Simplot Grower Solutions - Aberdeen, ID
Simplot Grower Solutions - Burlington, WY
Simplot Grower Solutions - Hershey, NE
Simplot Grower Solutions - Powell, WY
Simplot Grower Solutions - Stockton, CA
SW Virginia Farm Supply - Castlewood, VA
Sumner Farmers Cooperative - Gallatin, TN
Tennessee Farmers Cooperative - La Vergne, TN
Weakley Farmers Coop - Martin, TN
Williamson Farmers Coop - Franklin, TN
Back to Top


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.