Volume 31
Dec 10, 2019

ResponsibleAg Board of Directors, Committee Changes for 2020

Members of the ResponsibleAg board of directors and communications committee met during the World Fertilizer Conference in Chicago in September to discuss initiatives for 2020 and to elect officers. Joining the board of directors officer team for 2020 are:

  • Vice Chairman – Dave Ito, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Grow West
  • Treasurer – Gary Vogen, Vice President, Corp. Affairs, Yara North America Inc.

Tim McArdle, Executive Vice President & COO, Brandt Consolidated, Inc. will continue as Chairman. Rosemary O’Brien of CF Industries is the new communications committee liaison to the board of directors. Rose Ayers, Publications & Social Media Manager for the Agribusiness Association of Iowa recently volunteered and is the newest member of the communications committee. Welcome, Rose!

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Many Thanks to Scott Rawlins and Justin Gough for Industry Dedication

After five years of service on ResponsibleAg’s board of directors, Scott Rawlins, Director of Regulatory and Governmental Affairs for the Wilbur-Ellis Company, and Justin Gough, Director of Agricultural Products at LSB/El Dorado Chemical Company, stepped down at the end of their terms. Both Scott and Justin joined the board when the ResponsibleAg program first launched. Their dedication and efforts during the past five years have been instrumental in helping move the ResponsibleAg mission forward. A big thank you to both Scott and Justin for their service!

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ResponsibleAg Welcomes Two New Board Members

Clark Capwell, General Manager of Environmental, Health, Safety and Security for The McGregor Company, and Matt Green, Vice President of Marketing for CVR Resources, were recently named to fill the two vacant seats on the board. Clark also serves on the organization’s Technical Committee. Welcome, Clark and Matt!

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Brandt’s Tim McArdle Recognized by ARA


Tim McArdle, Executive Vice President & COO, Brandt Consolidated, Inc. and Chairman of the ResponsibleAg board of directors, received the Agricultural Retailers Association’s (ARA) 2019 Distinguished Service Award for his support of the agricultural retail industry and the association. McArdle was recognized for his long-time service to the industry and his leadership in ARA, ResponsibleAg and AgGateway. Congratulations, Tim, on this well-deserved honor!

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Congrats to Valley Agronomics and Other 2019 Environmental Respect Award Winners


Heartfelt congratulations go to the 2019 winners of the annual Environmental Respect Awards, including Valley Agronomics of Pocatello, ID, winner of the prestigious Ambassador of Respect award for North America. Valley Agronomics is a member of ResponsibleAg.

The Environmental Respect Awards program, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and presented by CropLife magazine, is the agricultural industry's highest recognition for environmental stewardship. Several businesses that participate in the ResponsibleAg program were recognized at the regional or state level. (ResponsibleAg participants*)

Regional Winners
*Nutrien Ag Solutions – Melville, SK, CA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions – Hendersonville, NC
Prairieland FS – La Belle, MO
*Valley Agronomics – Pocatello, ID

State/Province Champions
*Nutrien Ag Solutions – Holtwood, PA
Helena-Lenox – Lenox, TN
*United Prairie, LLC – Tolono, IL
*Premier Ag – Seymour, IN
*J.R. Simplot Co. – East Grand Forks, MN
Tyree Ag, Inc. – Laverne, OK
Dakota Seed and Service – Irene, SD
*Mid Valley Ag Services, Inc. – Oakdale, CA
Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC – Mesquite, NM
Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC – Wharton, TX
*Nutrien Ag Solutions – Carmen, MB, CA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions – Provost, AB, CA
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What Does it Take to Be the Best in Safety and Compliance?

Ag retailers and others in the industry can learn a lot from their peers when it comes to following safe, responsible business practices every day. Take a few minutes to read the latest issues of Faces of ResponsibleAg for a fresh perspective from others on these important topics.

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Supporting Environmental Stewardship

CropLife Faces

The Environmental Respect Awards (ERA) sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, is the pinnacle of environmental safety awards in the industry. When Raymond Forney, Global Stewardship Manager for Corteva, and his team are considering nominations for the ERA, they see an ag retailer’s certification through ResponsibleAg as a benchmark for environmental stewardship practice. Read more.

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Farmer, Agribusiness Owner a Good Neighbor to Urban Centers and Regulatory Agencies

CropLife Faces

Billy Willard, CEO of Willard Agri-Service of Frederick, Inc., leads a successful agribusiness operation with five plants serving Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey. He also manages the Willard family’s 3200-acre farm that produces corn, wheat, soybeans and sorghum in Maryland’s most populated county ― that also sits next door to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. As a farmer, it’s important to him that his ag retailer is a member of ResponsibleAg. Learn more.

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Gut-wrenching Experience Ignites Passion for Safety First

CropLife Faces

When managing a manufacturing plant, Billy Pirkle, President of Pirkle Solutions, Inc. always encouraged, but didn’t consistently enforce, the plant’s policy that safety glasses be worn. When a plant accident resulted in a serious eye injury for an employee, Pirkle remembers it was very emotional to realize the injuries could have been prevented ― if the safety glasses policy had been followed. That incident ignited his passion for safety and people. Read why Pirkle is a strong advocate for the ResponsibleAg program.

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Ford B. West Center Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary


The Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture, site of ResponsibleAg’s rigorous auditor training course, is celebrating its five-year anniversary. The first ResponsibleAg auditor class took place October 28-31, 2014, with 22 participants at the Owensboro, KY, training facility. Participation in the auditor training course continues to grow, with 137 auditors credentialed through the ResponsibleAg program. The center was named after Ford B. West, an industry leader who served as president of The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and dedicated 34 years of service to TFI and the industry.

The ResponsibleAg auditor course focuses on auditing techniques and is based on the federal regulatory requirements that apply to U.S. fertilizer retailers. The West Center, a former agrichemical facility retrofitted specifically for training purposes, includes a computer lab designed for auditing. The entire facility is modeled after an active working farm center that handles dry and liquid fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia, package and bulk crop protection chemicals, seed and other products found at a typical retail center.

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Only Nine Seats Remain for June 2020 Auditor Training Course. Sign up Today!


Only nine seats remain available for the 2020 Auditor Training Course to be held June 16-19, 2020, at the Ford B. West Center. This comprehensive, four-day, hands-on course takes a very practical approach. Course instructor, Brian Miller, is well versed in health, safety and security practices and regulatory compliance. Sign up today.

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Don’t Forget: Audit Every 3 Years to Maintain ResponsibleAg Certification

Don’t forget that facilities certified through ResponsibleAg must repeat the audit process every three years to maintain ResponsibleAg certification. Regularly repeating the audit and completing any action items needed, enables facilities to maintain a high level of emphasis on safety and assures that they remain compliant. The three-year audit cycle helps facility personnel stay up to date on safe practices as well as new or updated rules and regulations. To make it easier for program participants to remember this important re-certification date, ResponsibleAg sends a notice to facility managers when they’re due for recertification.

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Auditor Reminder: 2019 Audit Period Ends December 21st

We would like to remind all auditors that the audit entry system will be down for annual routine maintenance over the holidays, from December 21, 2019, to January 6, 2020. Access to the website will be limited during this time. Therefore, please ensure all remaining 2019 audit results are entered before December 21st.

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Audit Issues Awareness – #7 Security Vulnerability Assessment

Number 7 on the ResponsibleAg list of Top 25 Audit Issues is the Security Vulnerability Assessment. This requires employers to develop, implement and maintain a written security vulnerability assessment in relation to:

  1. The DOT security plan for assessing possible transportation security risks for shipments of hazardous materials and appropriate measures to address the assessed risks. Specific measures put into place by the plan may vary commensurate with the level of threat at a particular time;
  2. Chemical facilities that have been determined by DHS to be high-risk, must complete the security vulnerability assessment through the CSAT process or through any other method. DHS permits Tier 4 facilities to submit an Alternative Security Plan (ASP) in lieu of an SVA. Tier 4 facilities may submit the Sandia RAM for chemical facilities, the CCPS Methodology for fixed chemical facilities or any method certified by CCPS as equivalent to CCPS that has equivalent steps, assumptions and outputs and sufficiently addresses the risk-based performance standards and CSAT SVA potential terrorist attack scenarios.

For more information about these and other regulations and documentation, join ResponsibleAg. Program participants 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.

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News from Around the Industry

Register Now for New FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that Starts January 6, 2020

Employers can now register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for the new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, before registration becomes mandatory on Jan. 6, 2020. The new Clearinghouse aims to close the loophole that saw some drivers job-hopping to avoid the impacts of failed drug and/or alcohol tests.

Registration in the Clearinghouse database will allow employers to check current and prospective employees for previous unresolved DOT drug and alcohol violations, to determine if they are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as driving a commercial motor vehicle. An employer or a designated consortia or third-party administrator (C/TPA), such as the company’s drug testing provider, must conduct a "query." Employers are charged a fee for conducting queries and must purchase a plan so they can run the required queries. Although C/TPAs cannot purchase query plans, once registered themselves, they can conduct queries on behalf of an employer.

CDL drivers must also register in the Clearinghouse and provide consent to allow employers to run queries. Queries must be run as part of the pre-employment investigation process before a CDL driver is hired; an annual query must be run for currently employed CDL drivers.

Visit the Clearinghouse website to register, create an online user account and purchase a query plan. Make sure to work with your C/TPA so you have a plan in place for conducting queries when the Clearinghouse becomes fully operational in January.

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EPA Finalizes Changes to RMP Amendments

EPA recently issued its Risk Management Program (RMP) Reconsideration final rule, which removes unnecessary amendments, thus reducing the regulatory burden on facilities and emergency responders and matching OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. Major provisions formerly included in the RMP Amendments rule, but now rescinded, include requirements to:

  • Hire a third party to conduct the compliance audit after an RMP reportable accident.
  • Assess theoretically safer technology and alternative risk management measures.
  • Conduct and document a root cause analysis after an RMP reportable accident or near miss.
  • Make very broadly defined information available from the facility to the public on request. The final RMP Reconsideration Rule rescinds the requirement for an owner or operator to provide, within 45 days of receiving a request by any member of the public, specified chemical hazard information for all regulated processes.

Other requirements that were either retained or modified require facilities to:

  • Continue to coordinate annually with local response organizations and document the coordination activities. Modifications were made to enable emergency response planners to obtain information "necessary for" planning and implementing local emergency response plans.
  • Provide annual notification of drills and field and tabletop exercises. The frequency of field exercises was modified to require consultation with local emergency response officials to establish an appropriate frequency.
  • Hold a public meeting within 90 days of an accident with an offsite impact (with some) modifications. Read EPA's news release on this topic or get more information here.
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    ARA and TFI Make Recommendations on CFATS

    ARA and TFI recently sent six main recommendations to the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change for Congress to consider as it works to reauthorize the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program:

    • Maintain CFATS focus on site security.
    • Enhance transparency between DHS and the regulated community.
    • Subject any updates or modifications to Appendix A to a comprehensive notice and comment rulemaking under the Administrative Procedures Act.
    • Allow facility owners and operators to retain discretion to determine how site security information is shared.
    • Don't expand personnel surety program (PSP) to risk groups Tier 3 and Tier 4.
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    OSHA Enforcement and Compliance Increases in 2019 to Help Keep America’s Workforce Safe

    The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) fiscal year 2019 final statistics show a significant increase in the number of inspections and a record amount of compliance assistance to ensure that employers provide hazard-free workplaces.

    OSHA conducted 33,401 inspections—more inspections than in the previous three years – addressing violations related to trenching, falls, chemical exposure, silica and other hazards. OSHA’s enforcement activities reflect the department’s continued focus on worker safety.

    In FY19, OSHA provided a record 1,392,611 workers with training on safety and health requirements through the agency’s various education programs, including the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, Outreach Training Program and Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. In FY19, OSHA’s no-cost On-Site Consultation Program identified 137,885 workplace hazards and protected 3.2 million workers from potential harm.

    Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. Visit the OSHA website for more information.

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    What are ResponsibleAg’s Best Management Practices Questions?

    Q: Where can you find 28 commonly asked questions that industry insiders ask about Best Management Practices (BMPs)? A: On the ResponsibleAg website.

    BMP’s are at the heart of our members’ operations. BMPs are defined as optional conscious methods, activities, maintenance procedures and managerial practices (or prohibitions of practices) that, when used singly or in combination, may help prevent or reduce potential safety hazards or the release of pollutants to unintended areas. Typically, a combination of measures will always be needed to be effective.

    ResponsibleAg provides these BMPs at the request of its members and with the understanding that all BMP questions:

    • are strictly optional,
    • are clearly identified as a BMP on the checklist,
    • do not affect scoring or certification,
    • and appear on the Corrective Action Plan, if answered.

    Review the complete list of BMP questions on the ResponsibleAg website.

    Welcome ResponsibleAg Credentialed Auditor

    A big Welcome to Don Hartlein, Pirkle Solutions - Windsor, CO, the newest ResponsibleAg Credentialed Auditor!

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    More Facilities Earn ResponsibleAg Certification

    Welcome to these facilities that are now Committed, Compliant, Safe, and Certified. Congratulations to all!

    Ag Plus - Columbia City, IN
    AgCentral Farmers Coop - Athens, TN
    American Plant Food Corporation - Buffalo, TX
    American Plant Food Corporation - Troup, TX
    American Plant Food Corp. - Wortham, TX
    Carolina Eastern Vail, Inc. - Auburn, NY
    Carolina Eastern Vail, Inc. - Oriskany Falls, NY
    Carolina Eastern Vail, Inc. - Salem, NY
    CHS, Inc. - Cyrus, MN
    CHS, Inc. - Starbuck, MN
    First Farmers Coop - Decaturville, TN
    Gavilon Fertilizer LLC - Saint Joseph, MO
    Gibson Farmers Coop - Dyer, TN
    GreenPoint Ag - Batesville, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Boyle, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Brooksville, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Clarksdale, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Clayton, LA
    GreenPoint Ag - Covington, TN
    GreenPoint Ag - Halls, TN
    GreenPoint Ag - Hardinsburg, KY
    GreenPoint Ag - Houston, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Hughes, AR
    GreenPoint Ag - Leland, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Malden, MO
    GreenPoint Ag - Marks, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Mer Rouge, LA
    GreenPoint Ag - Morse, LA
    GreenPoint Ag - Portageville, MO
    GreenPoint Ag - Portland, AR
    GreenPoint Ag - Rolling Fork, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Ruleville, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Shelby, MS
    Greenpoint Ag - Transylvania, LA
    GreenPoint Ag - Tunica, MS
    GreenPoint Ag - Winnsboro, LA
    Grow West - Sonoma, CA
    Grow West - Walnut Grove, CA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Ackley, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Alden, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Allison, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Aplington, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - DeWitt, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Hampton, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Hawkeye, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Mechanicsville, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Miles, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Nora Springs, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Thornton, IA
    GROWMARK AgVantage FS - Waukon, IA
    GROWMARK FS - Codorus, PA
    GROWMARK FS - Coplay, PA
    GROWMARK FS - Lewistown, PA
    GROWMARK FS - Newville, PA
    GROWMARK FS - Somerset, PA
    GROWMARK FS - York, PA
    GROWMARK Illini FS - Dewey, IL
    GROWMARK Illini FS - Garrett, IL
    GROWMARK Illini FS - Paris, IL
    GROWMARK Illini FS - Tolono, IL
    GROWMARK Illini FS - Tuscola, IL
    GROWMARK New Century FS - Newton, IA
    Hartford Farmers Cooperative - Hartford, AL
    Knox Farmers Co-op - Knoxville, TN
    Land View, Inc. - Hansen, ID
    Land View, Inc. - Murtaugh, ID
    Liquid Products - Waterloo, NY
    M&M Cooperative - Yuma, CO
    Marion Farmers Coop - Jasper, TN
    Mid-South Farmers Coop - Guntown, MS
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Altheimer, AR
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Aynor, SC
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bainbridge, OH
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bancroft, ID
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bay, AR
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Benson, MN
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Benton, MS
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bernie, MO
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bismarck, ND
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bloomfield, IA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Blue Earth, MN
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bowling Green, MO
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Brookville, IN
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Browns, IL
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Buhl, ID
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Campbellsville, KY
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Chester, NE
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Clarendon, AR
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Clay City, IN
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Cloverdale, VA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Columbus, IL
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Cozad, NE
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Des Arc, AR
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Dickinson, ND
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Doerun, GA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Elizabeth City, NC
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Goleta, CA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Grenada, MS
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hamler, OH
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hazen, AR
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Henderson, KY
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hendersonville, NC
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Holly Bluff, MS
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Holly Springs, MS
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Houston, TX
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hoxie, AR
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Indianola, MS
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Kingstree, SC
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Kiron, IA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Knox City, TX
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Laurelville, OH
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Marion, NY
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Marvell, AR
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Mediapolis, IA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Meredosia, IL
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Milan, TN
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Milford Center, OH
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Minot, ND
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Modesto, CA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Montross, VA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Munger, MI
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Oaktown, IN
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Odebolt, IA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Oskaloosa, IA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Ottawa, OH
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Owendale, MI
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Oxnard, CA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Palmyra, MO
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Parkston, SD
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Paxton, IL
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Pipestone, MN
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Pittsfield, IL
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Plymouth, WA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Pocomoke City, MD
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Rickreall, OR
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Rolling Fork, MS
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Salem, OR
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Shafter, CA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Shelburn, IN
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Shelbyville, IL
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Summerdale, AL
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Superior, NE
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Tucson, AZ
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Vandalia, MO
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Walnut, IL
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Wayland, MI
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Wharton, TX
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Whiting, IA
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Yadkinville, NC
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Yates City, IL
    Nutrien Ag Solutions - Yuma, CO
    Pinnacle Ag Distributors, Inc. - Cash, AR
    Pinnacle Ag Distributors, Inc. - Lepanto, AR
    Premier Ag - Shelbyville, IN
    Putnam Farmers Coop - Cookeville, TN
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Bakersfield, CA
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Burlington, CO
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Crystal, ND
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Delano, CA
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Holland, TX
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Langdon, ND
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Madera, CA
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Moorhead, MN
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Moses Lake, WA
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Moxee, WA
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Othello, WA
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Prosser, WA
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Royal City, WA
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Saint Anthony, ID
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Shelly, MN
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Weiser, ID
    Simplot Grower Solutions - Wharton, TX
    Southern States Cooperative - Mount Olive, NC
    Tennessee Farmers Coop - Rockford, TN
    The McGregor Company - Adams, OR
    The McGregor Company - Dayton, WA
    The McGregor Company - Kendrick, ID
    The McGregor Company - Prescott, WA
    The McGregor Company - Uniontown, WA
    Tri Valley Crop Center - Sprakers, NY
    Tuscaloosa Farmers Coop - Northport, AL
    Washington Farmers Coop - Jonesborough, TN
    West Geneva County Coop - Geneva, AL
    Willard Agri-Service, Inc. - Frederick, MD
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    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.