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:
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!Back to Top
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!Back to Top
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!Back to Top
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!Back to Top
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*)
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.Back to Top
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.Back to Top
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.Back to Top
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.Back to Top
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.Back to Top
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.Back to Top
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.Back to Top
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.Back to Top
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:
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.Back to Top
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.Back to Top
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:
Other requirements that were either retained or modified require facilities to:
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:
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.Back to Top
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:
Review the complete list of BMP questions on the ResponsibleAg website.
A big Welcome to Don Hartlein, Pirkle Solutions - Windsor, CO, the newest ResponsibleAg Credentialed Auditor!Back to Top
Welcome to these facilities that 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.