Volume 47
Dec 15, 2021

Making ResponsibleAg Better for YOU!

Thank you to those who responded to our online survey. Your insights will help ResponsibleAg better serve the ag retail industry and businesses like yours. More than 450 people who work in the industry shared their thoughts about the program. Thirty lucky respondents received a gift of $50. If your name was selected in our drawing, we mailed your gift to you.

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Industry Leaders Take the Reins for ResponsibleAg

The ResponsibleAg board of directors held the initiative’s 2021 annual meeting Dec. 2, following the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Convention in San Antonio. Election of officers was a primary order of business, with new leadership chosen to take the helm beginning January 1, 2022.

The 2022 officers are:

  • Chairman, Gary Vogen, vice president, corporate and regulatory affairs, YARA North America, Tampa, Florida (center)
  • Vice Chairman, Kyle Springs, senior director of safety and health ‒ retail, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Midlothian, Virginia (not pictured)
  • Secretary, Kevin Frye, safety services manager, GROWMARK, Bloomington, Illinois (right)
  • Treasurer, Kent McPherson, director of business and sales development, GreenPoint Ag, Decatur, Alabama (left)

Other board members include:

  • Clark Capwell, general manager of environmental, health, safety, and sustainability, The McGregor Company, Colfax, Washington
  • Matthew Entwistle, sales agronomist with CaroVail, Oriskany Falls, New York
  • Matt Green, vice president of marketing, CRV Partners, Sugar Land, Texas
  • Jeff Mize, CEO, Ag Plus, Inc., South Whitley, Indiana
  • Andy Spahr, director of sales and logistics – primary nutrients, The Andersons, Inc., Maumee, Ohio
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ResponsibleAg Showcases Program during ARA Expo

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the ResponsibleAg booth during the 2021 ARA Expo in San Antonio. Gary Vogen and other volunteers spent time in the booth chatting with convention attendees. An informational slide show and video featured industry experts explaining the ResponsibleAg certification program, health, safety and security audit process and auditor training program. Attendees who completed a brief ResponsibleAg questionnaire were entered into a drawing for a Cabela’s gift card. Ryan Coleman of Superior Ag in Huntingburg, Indiana, was the lucky winner!

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Thank You to Retiring Board Members

ResponsibleAg took center stage during the closing session of the 2021 ARA Convention to salute two industry leaders whose final terms on the board are ending. Tim McArdle, Brandt Consolidated, and David Ito, Grow West, have each served six years on the board and were heralded for their foresight and long-term commitment to employee safety and the ResponsibleAg certification program. McArdle and Ito were instrumental in the development of the ResponsibleAg certification program and have guided the industry program as board members since 2014.

McArdle, retired COO of Brandt, is also retiring as ResponsibleAg board chairman after completing his second term in that role. Ito served as vice chairman and supported the Technical Committee’s work in incorporating aspects of California’s state-specific safety, health and security regulations into the ResponsibleAg audit for facilities located in California.

“We are happy to recognize Tim McArdle and Dave Ito. They were among the industry leaders whose foresight and commitment to employee safety and the well-being of our industry led to creation of the ResponsibleAg audit and certification program,” Daren Coppock, president and CEO of ARA said. “Today, the program is recognized by key regulators and elected officials as a bellweather that members of the ag retail and fertilizer industry take safety and security seriously.

“The ResponsibleAg program is making a real difference for our industry, particularly on Capitol Hill, and it wouldn’t have achieved its success without the efforts and guidance of these two dedicated leaders,” Coppock said.

Thank you, Tim and Dave! Your tireless dedication, passion and commitment to ResponsibleAg and the safety and welfare of retail employees and communities across the country are greatly appreciated.

On stage during the ARA convention to recognize the organizatison’s passionate leaders were, L to R: Daren Coppock, president and CEO of ARA, David Ito, Tim McArdle, Amber Duke, president and CEO of Asmark Institute, and Corey Rosenbusch, president and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute.
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Audit Entry System: Scheduled Downtime for Annual Maintenance

We remind all auditors that the audit entry system will be down, as it has in past years, for annual routine maintenance. For your convenience, this will take place over the holidays, from Dec. 21, 2021, to Jan. 5, 2022. Access to the website for administering audits will be limited. Therefore, please enter all remaining 2021 audit results before December 21.

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Reminder: Complete Your Audits, Enter Results Before Year End, Schedule 2022 Audits

There's still a bit of time before year end to reach ResponsibleAg certification! If you’ve completed your audit, make sure to verify before December 21 any corrections that have been made. If your facility is certified, congratulations. Thank you for your commitment to compliance and safety! Remember – recertification every three years helps ensure your facility remains in compliance to keep your employees safe. Plus, it helps demonstrate that our industry is working together, doing things the right way!

If the pandemic delayed an audit at any of your facilities during the last two years, now is a good time to schedule one. It’s a great way to start off your safety program in 2022.

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Leading Workplace Safety Advocate Releases Employer Recommendations for Long-Term COVID-19 Safety Practices

It’s been a crazy time with COVID-19, so what’s next for employers who want to keep their employees healthy and safe? After the National Safety Council (NSC) interviewed and surveyed 300 U.S.-based employers and more than 3,500 individuals this summer on the lessons they learned from their COVID-19 responses and their future pandemic-related workplace safety recommendations, NSC published the findings in its SAFER report. The council found employer vaccine requirements increased worker vaccination rates by 35% and most of the U.S. workforce is in favor of vaccine requirements.

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OSHA Extends Comment Period for ETS on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

Another COVID-19 issue of interest to ag retailers is the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing. OSHA announced last week it is extending the comment period to Jan. 19, 2022, providing more time for input from employers and the public. Submit comments identified by Docket No. OSHA-2021-0007 via the link below.

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Do You Supervise CDL Drivers? Drug and Alcohol Training Required

A common issue found during ResponsibleAg audits is failure of driver supervisors to be properly trained. Anyone who supervises drivers who operate vehicles requiring a CDL must complete at least one hour of training on alcohol misuse, as well as an additional hour on controlled substance abuse. The training helps supervisors recognize the physical, behavioral, speech and performance signs of possible alcohol misuse and controlled substance abuse that would require a driver to be tested. Employers must ensure supervisors complete the training.

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ResponsibleAg is Showcase for Industry’s Commitment to Compliance, Safety

For the past eight years, the ResponsibleAg Certification program has helped the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) make the case for the industry’s commitment to safety. In the latest Faces of ResponsibleAg, Richard Gupton, senior vice president for Public Policy and Counsel for the ARA, says “Each and every day, there are agencies and lawmakers trying to put forth measures that could take away a lot of the tools necessary for modern agriculture. When we make visits to the Hill, we talk about ResponsibleAg and the industry’s investment in our one-of-a-kind training facility, the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture. . . we really see positive reactions from lawmakers and regulatory agency officials.”

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News from Around the Industry

OSHA’s Preliminary Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Workplace Safety Violations

For the 11th year in a row, fall protection remains No. 1 on OSHA’s top 10 list of workplace safety violations. Among other notable movements in the fiscal year 2021 list are respiratory protection rising one spot to No. 2, while hazard communication, which spent the last several years at No. 2, moves to the fifth spot. Remember, employers can use this valuable information to help find and fix recognized hazards within a facility. Many of these safety concerns are part of a ResponsibleAg audit, which further helps employers identify potential safety issues.

Violation Cited # of Violations
1. Fall Protection – General Requirements 5,295
2. Respiratory Protection 2,527
3. Ladders 2,026
4. Scaffolding 1,948
5. Hazard Communication 1,947
6. Lockout/Tagout 1,698
7. Fall Protection – Training Requirements 1,666
8. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection 1,452
9. Powered Industrial Trucks 1,420
10. Machine Guarding 1,113

Disabling Workplace Injuries Cost U.S. Businesses $58 Billion in 2021

Did you know disabling workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses $58.6 billion in 2021? The top 10 most disabling serious, nonfatal workplace injuries this year alone accounted for $52.2 billion of that total. That’s according to figures released by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. The first step in protecting workers is knowing how serious injuries happen. This review of the top 10 leading causes of the most disabling workplace injuries can help you identify areas to improve in your workplace.

Injury Cost in billions
1. Overexertion involving outside sources (handling objects) $13.3
2. Falls on same level $10.5
3. Falls to lower level $6.2
4. Struck by object or equipment (being hit by objects) $5.6
5. Other exertions or bodily reactions (awkward postures) $4.7

View the full list here.

OSHA Addresses Extreme Heat ‒ Comment Period Extended to Jan. 26, 2022

In a new enforcement initiative, OSHA is taking steps to prevent and protect workers from heat-related illnesses and deaths while they are working in hazardous hot environments. What can employers expect? OSHA is stepping up enforcement efforts on days when recognized heat temperatures can increase risks of heat-related illnesses. OSHA wants to hear from industries regarding the extent and nature of hazardous heat in the workplace. The comment period has been extended from Dec. 27, 2021 to Jan. 26, 2022. Make sure to submit your comments identified by Docket No. OSHA-2021-0009 by January 26!

EPA Fines Iowa Distributor $50,000+ for RMP Violations

EPA will collect more than $50,000 from an Iowa fertilizer distributor to resolve alleged violations of the Risk Management Plan Rule, which requires certain entities to identify the potential effects of a chemical accident, detail preventive steps a facility is taking and specify its emergency response procedures.

The EPA reported the company stores approximately 457,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia and failed to protect workers and the neighboring community from accidental releases. After reviewing the facility’s records, the EPA determined the company failed to update its plan for preventing and responding to a potential release. The agency also cited the distributor for failing to update its “hazard review,” maintain operating procedures and perform and keep compliance audits. In response to EPA’s findings, the Iowa company took the necessary steps to return the facility to compliance.

Welcome ResponsibleAg Credentialed Auditor

ResponsibleAg is excited to announce this individual is now credentialed.

  • Glenn S Crowe, GSC Safety Consulting - Soddy Daisy, TN

More Facilities Earn ResponsibleAg Certification

Welcome to these facilities that are now Committed, Compliant, Safe and Certified. We'd like to send a special shout out to the locations that have completed recertification, noted below with an asterisk*. The commitment to safety by all these facilities represents an incredibly positive and important effort for our industry. Congratulations to all!

*Ag1 Farmers Co-op - Livingston, TN
*Butte County Rice Growers Association - Richvale, CA
Buttonwillow Warehouse Company - Bakersfield, CA
*EDC Ag Products Company LLC - Dublin, TX
*EDC Ag Products Company LLC - Giddings, TX
*EDC Ag Products Company LLC - Itasca, TX
*EDC Ag Products Company LLC - Tyler, TX
*Gavilon Fertilizer LLC - Denison, IA
*Gavilon Fertilizer LLC - Marseilles, IL
*Gibson Farmers Co-op - Humboldt, TN
*GreenPoint Ag - Loxley, AL
*GROWMARK FS - Accomac, VA
*GROWMARK New Century FS - Gladbrook, IA
*GROWMARK New Century FS - Van Horne, IA
*GROWMARK New Century FS - Vinton, IA
GROWMARK Sunrise FS - Arenzville, IL
GROWMARK Sunrise FS - Easton, IL
GROWMARK Sunrise FS - Havana, IL
*Mid Valley Agricultural Services, Inc. - Brentwood, CA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Amenia, NY
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Arlington, GA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Attica, OH
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Baileyville, IL
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Beemer, NE
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bismarck, ND
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Blessing, TX
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Blissfield, MI
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bluffton, IN
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Bowling Green, MO
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Cash, AR
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Chadwick, IL
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Charlottesville, IN
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Clarksdale, MS
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Clay Center, KS
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Cochran, GA
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Cordele, GA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Dunlap, IA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Fairmont, NE
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Forreston, IL
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Fresno, CA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Friendship, TN
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Garden City, KS
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Greensboro, GA
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Greenville, IL
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Greenville, OH
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Guntown, MS
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Heartwell, NE
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hedrick, IA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Henderson, MI
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Holdrege, NE
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Homestead, FL
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hornersville, MO
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Kasota, MN
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Lake City, AR
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Lanark, IL
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Luray, SC
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Mapleton, ND
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Montross, VA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Mt Sterling, OH
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - New Canton, IL
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Oberlin, KS
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Paragould, AR
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Pasco, WA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Pomeroy, WA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Poplar Grove, AR
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Portageville, MO
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Ridgway, IL
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Rushville, IN
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Salem, KY
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Sanford, NC
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Senath, MO
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Sikeston, MO
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Slayton, MN
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - St Johns, MI
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Straughn, IN
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Tarboro, NC
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Thurston, OH
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Tifton, GA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Vado, NM
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Wadena, MN
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Wayland, MI
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Wheatland, IN
*Obion Farmers Co-op - Kenton, TN
*Obion Farmers Co-op - Union City, TN
*Premier Ag - Brownstown, IN
*Premier Ag - Corydon, IN
*Premier Ag - Greensburg, IN
*Premier Ag - Hope, IN
*Premier Ag - Seymour, IN
*Premier Ag - Trafalgar, IN
Simplot Grower Solutions - College Station, TX
*Simplot Grower Solutions - Guadalupe, CA
*Simplot Grower Solutions - Langdon, ND
Simplot Grower Solutions - Shallowater, TX
TradeMark Nitrogen Corporation - Tampa, FL
Valley Agronomics LLC - Greenleaf, ID
Valley Agronomics LLC - Hansen, ID
*Waterway Ag, Inc. - Metropolis, IL
*Yara North America, Inc. - Convent, LA
*Yara North America, Inc. - San Diego, CA
*Yara North America, Inc. - Tampa, FL
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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.