Volume 51
Jun 14, 2022

A familiar retail industry leader is taking on responsibilities as a spokesman for ResponsibleAg. Tim McArdle, immediate past chair of ResponsibleAg and retired COO with Brandt, will serve as ResponsibleAg Industry Ambassador, according to Gary Vogen, board chair and vice president of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Yara.

"Tim will work with agribusinesses and organizations throughout the industry to ensure all stakeholders understand ResponsibleAg’s purpose as well as the individual and collective benefits its initiatives provide to help improve compliance and safety throughout our industry,” Vogen says.

"Tim is a well-respected industry veteran and committed volunteer supporting ResponsibleAg since its beginning. He has a wealth of knowledge about the needs and operations of the ag retail industry and is a valuable resource for the organization,” Vogen says. “We’re excited he will continue to support ag retail by helping even more businesses achieve ResponsibleAg compliance certification.

Look for Tim at industry events in the coming months or reach out to him at He can answer your questions about becoming ResponsibleAg certified, becoming an auditor or finding out more about ResponsibleAg in general. He is in Illinois and will work part-time for the organization.

Back to Top

ResponsibleAg Board Busy with Strategic Planning

As ResponsibleAg nears its first decade of existence, the board of directors is hard at work setting the course for the organization’s future. Strategic planning began with a two-day meeting in March, and leaders have been evaluating ResponsibleAg’s purpose, compliance audit and certification process, resources and operational structure, among other things.

“During the last 10 years, agriculture and ag retail industry have seen many changes in the way businesses are structured. The aspects of managing health, safety and environmental practices and compliance also have changed,” explains Gary Vogen. “Many retail organizations now have fully integrated EHS and compliance initiatives while others need outside resources and assistance to review their safety practices and ensure their compliance.

“We want to ensure ResponsibleAg is relevant and provides value to our industry and all agribusinesses, no matter their size or resources,” Vogen says. “Anticipating and adapting is critical to minimize risk across the industry and to avoid implementation of additional regulations on agribusinesses.” Watch for updates about ResponsibleAg’s plans in the coming months.

Back to Top

Make sure to connect with ResponsibleAg on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on the latest EHS news and regulatory updates, plus receive valuable safety tips to help with your ongoing efforts to keep employees safe in the workplace. We also invite you to share, like and comment on ResponsibleAg posts. ResponsibleAg tips and reminders can help ag retailers prevent workplace accidents, reduce costly downtime and manage risk.

In case you missed these safety and compliance tips and reminders, read and download them here:

Back to Top

When assessing performance, there are two types of measurements: leading indicators, which may predict future success or failure, and lagging indicators, which measure past performance. While a lagging indicator can record only what has happened, a leading indicator can be used to influence change.

For Kevin Frye, safety services manager, GROWMARK Inc., Bloomington, Illinois, participation in the ResponsibleAg program has given rise to leading indicators of improved safety for the regional agricultural supply cooperative and its FS Companies system. ResponsibleAg is influencing change.

“The frequency and consistency of things such as completing safety training for new and experienced workers, conducting routine workplace inspections, effective equipment maintenance, safety acumen of supervisors, organization of records and facility pride are leading indicators of a trend toward improved safety throughout our organization,” says Frye. “ResponsibleAg puts a strong emphasis on effectively implementing safety protocols. Our people have been receptive, and those factors will translate into fewer losses over time.”

Such success is why Frye committed to serve on the ResponsibleAg board of directors as secretary. He was previously on the technical committee.

Frye says ResponsibleAg has opened the door to collaboration with other safety professionals in the industry on the best way to do things and has allowed GROWMARK plant managers and supervisors to take a larger role in following their leading indicators to safety.

“When you have a ResponsibleAg-certified emblem hanging in your window, what better first impression can you make as far as your commitment to safety and community stewardship?” Frye says. “Our safety department motto is that we’re here to protect our employees, our customers and our community, and I feel the ResponsibleAg audit process lends itself very well to achieving that objective.”

Back to Top

Due to tremendous demand, ResponsibleAg is adding a second, four-day auditor training course in 2022. The comprehensive course combines in-class and hands-on training. It takes place November 15-18 at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, Kentucky. The training center is a retired ag retail facility with a dedicated classroom, so it’s an ideal venue for the real-world aspects of auditor training. It's not too early to reserve your seat!

Get training course details and register here Back to Top

Pesticide Safety: Pesticide Residues Shouldn’t Go Home from Work

It’s the time of year when many of your employees are handling agricultural pesticides. Reducing exposure risk for employees and their families begins with educating workers and handlers. Learn more about safety training, your legal requirements under the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard and steps you can take to protect your workers. This helpful printable guide from ResponsibleAg covers:

  • Trainer requirements
  • Annual retraining mandate
  • Recordkeeping obligations
  • Reminders, resources and decontamination supplies requirements
  • Pesticide safety basics
Pesticide Safety, Compliance Tips Back to Top

Why ResponsibleAg? Safety Training for Seasonal Help

Seasonal employees are an invaluable resource from planting through harvest. Whether they’re brand new or return year after year, seasonal help must be trained on safe practices for each job they do. Tom Wenning, operations manager for Premier Ag in Salem, Indiana, relies heavily on ResponsibleAg to provide resources he uses for proper safety training for existing and seasonal employees.

“Seasonal help doubles our workforce each year. It is important we invest the time and effort to ensure they’re all up to speed on safety practices and daily checks required in their jobs," says Wenning. “We pair each applicant with an experienced employee who walks them through the responsibilities of the job they’re interviewing for. Our full-time employees are all well trained using ResponsibleAg guidelines and know what is expected, so they explain things correctly.”

He adds, “Participation in ResponsibleAg has not only improved safety practices, but also makes the team more aware of necessary recordkeeping. Stuff breaks. Things wear out. Do your regular inspections. Record the process on the required forms and write down what needs attention, so it’s not forgotten. This is all important when you’re accountable for keeping everyone at your facility safe.”

Back to Top

The McGregor Company, a large independent fertilizer, agrichemicals and equipment dealer based in Colfax, Washington, already had an internal safety audit program before joining ResponsibleAg. But the company’s program had become unwieldy and cumbersome over time as more and more detail was added, making assessment of many components difficult ‒ and subjective, too, admits Clark Capwell, general manager, environmental, health, safety and security.

“In audits, more often than not, subjectivity is bad news,” he says. The ResponsibleAg checklist is not subjective. It is consistent in detailing federal regulatory requirements that apply to the storage and handling of all fertilizer and agricultural input supplies.“If you let yourself settle for something less, the bar just keeps dropping. Whether we’re talking about The McGregor Company or the industry in general, we have to hold ourselves to a consistent standard and make public perception of agriculture as positive as possible.”

Capwell believes including ResponsibleAg in the company’s compliance program has been successful because McGregor involves employees in the audit of their respective areas. Doing so gives employees a better understanding of regulatory and safety expectations at all levels along with what needs to be accomplished and why. Involving employees also means any needed corrective actions are completed more quickly.

Back to Top

Don’t Miss the 2022 NAEHSS Safety School for EH&S

Calling all EH&S professionals! It’s time to register for the National Agronomic, Environmental Health and Safety School, the premier safety program in the agricultural industry. You’ll gain valuable insights into regulatory topics facing the industry, learn best management practices that bolster regulatory requirements and get to network with your peers.

  • Dates: August 23-24
  • Keynote speaker: John Buckley, president and CEO, Wilbur-Ellis
  • Additional speakers: Tom Bray, Transportation Industry Expert, J.J. Keller & Associates, Brian Bothast, Safety and Occupational Health Specialist, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Dr. Fred Whitford, Clinical Engagement Professor, Botany and Plant Pathology and Director of Purdue Pesticide Programs
  • Why: To help you stay informed to operate safely and securely in the workplace.
  • Register now at the newly redesigned NAEHSS website

The Safety School is held in conjunction with the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association’s annual MAGIE Show, the premier outdoor equipment event in the United States. We encourage you to consider attending MAGIE while in Bloomington. Visit for details.

Back to Top

News from Around the Industry

2022 Roadcheck Completed, Two Major CVSA Inspections Planned

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) wrapped up its 72-hour International Roadcheck in mid-May. The event focused on wheel ends, including wheels, rims, hubs and tires. Vehicles that successfully pass inspection may receive a CVSA decal. In general, a vehicle with a valid CVSA decal will not be re-inspected during the three months the decal is valid. Inspectors focus on vehicles that don’t have a valid CVSA decal.

These driver inspections and enforcements are also planned for this summer.

  • Operation Safe Driver Week is July 10-16. During this enforcement effort, officers throughout North America look for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky driving behaviors with special attention on speeding violations.
  • Brake Safety Week is August 21-27. Drivers can expect commercial motor vehicle inspectors to inspect brake systems on large trucks and buses throughout North America looking for brake-system violations.

National Forklift Safety Day in June: Do You Have a Safety Program in Place?

National Forklift Safety Day is celebrated on June 14, marking the 9th consecutive year the program has been held. It’s a reminder to refresh your knowledge, reflect on the dangers and take stock of the way your employees use forklifts in your company. Also check maintenance records. Forklift, PIT Inspection & Maintenance routinely rank in the Top 25 Issues found during ResponsibleAg audits.

Did You Know?

  • Employers must conduct a safe operation evaluation of each person who operates a forklift, end loader or powered industrial truck? It’s required for new employees and again every three years thereafter.
  • Employers must ensure all forklifts and other equipment meet the Large Spark Ignition (LSI) requirements.

We encourage you to take a few minutes to review ResponsibleAg’s audit checklist to learn more about federal regulations covering forklifts/end loaders and operators.

Save the Date: OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week in August

OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week is August 15-21. Start planning your communications and activities now for this annual nationwide event recognizing the successes of workplace health and safety programs. Find ideas and resources here to help you plan your Safe + Sound activities. Join ResponsibleAg in supporting this important cause and be one of the companies to participate in this year’s event.

Why participate? Safe + Sound Week can help you get your safety program started or energize an existing one and provide a chance to recognize safety successes in your workplace. Participation and sign up are easy.

Welcome ResponsibleAg Credentialed Auditor

ResponsibleAg is excited to announce that Ken MacDonald of Valley Wide Cooperative in Reardon, Washington is now a credentialed auditor for the initiative. Congratulations and Welcome Ken!

More than 80 Locations Re-certified through ResponsibleAg

There have been many facilities become ResponsibleAg certified since our March newsletter. More than 80 locations achieved re-certification and 26 achieved certification the last few months. Congratulations to all who are Committed, Compliant, Safe and Certified. Those locations that have completed recertification are 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!

CHS, Inc. - Watertown, SD*
Cocke Farmers Cooperative - Morristown, TN*
Cocke Farmers Cooperative - Newport, TN*
Cullman Farmers Co-op - Cullman, AL*
EDC Ag Products Company LLC - Bryan, TX*
EDC Ag Products Company LLC - Whitewright, TX*
Farmers Cooperative Market - Frisco City, AL*
Gavilon Fertilizer LLC - Corpus Christi, TX*
Gavilon Fertilizer LLC - Victoria, TX*
Gibson Farmers Co-op - Newbern, TN*
Greene Farmers Cooperative - Greeneville, TN*
GreenPoint Ag - Caruthersville, MO*
GreenPoint Ag - Catron, MO*
GreenPoint Ag - Clarksdale, MS*
GreenPoint Ag #1 - Covington, TN*
GreenPoint Ag #2 - Covington, TN*
GreenPoint Ag - Delhi, LA*
GreenPoint Ag - El Campo, TX
GreenPoint Ag - Halls, TN*
GreenPoint Ag - Hamburg, LA*
GreenPoint Ag - Indianola, MS*
GreenPoint Ag - Jackson, TN
GreenPoint Ag - Jones, LA*
GreenPoint Ag - Jonesville, LA*
GreenPoint Ag - La Vergne, TN*
GreenPoint Ag - Leland, MS*
GreenPoint Ag - Morse, LA*
GreenPoint Ag - Paragould, AR*
GreenPoint Ag - Poplarville, MS*
GreenPoint Ag - Rayville, LA*
GreenPoint Ag - Roanoke, LA*
GreenPoint Ag - Vicksburg, MS
GreenPoint Ag - Winnsboro, LA*
GreenPoint Ag - Yazoo City, MS*
Grow West - Dixon, CA*
GROWMARK Illini FS #1 - Champaign, IL
GROWMARK Illini FS #2 - Champaign, IL*
GROWMARK Illini FS - Newman, IL
GROWMARK Illini FS - Tuscola, IL*
GROWMARK New Century FS - Beaman, IA
GROWMARK New Century FS - Conrad, IA
GROWMARK New Century FS - Millersburg, IA*
GROWMARK New Century FS - Williamsburg, IA*
GROWMARK Sunrise FS - Easton, IL
GROWMARK Sunrise FS - Manito, IL*
GROWMARK Sunrise FS - Mason City, IL
GROWMARK, Inc. - York, PA*
Henry Farmers Co-op - Cottage Grove, TN*
Mid Valley Ag. Services, Inc. - Livingston, CA*
Mid Valley Ag. Services, Inc. - Oakdale, CA*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Anthon, IA*
Nutrien Ag Solutions #1 - Bunkie, LA*
Nutrien Ag Solutions #2 - Bunkie, LA*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Burlington, CO
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Caldwell, TX*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Chadwick, IL
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Clarence, MO*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Cope, CO
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Dassel, MN*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Dyersville, IA*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Floydada, TX
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Frankfort, OH*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Fresno, CA*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Glidden, IA*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hermiston, OR*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hillsboro, TN*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Jacksonville, IL*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Macksville, KS*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Moody, TX*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Morganfield, KY*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Murray, KY*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Nokomis, IL*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - North Salem, IN*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Norwood, NC*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Rochester, IN*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Russellville, KY
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Salisbury, MD
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Scott City, KS*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Tallulah, LA*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Worthington, IA*
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Yuma, CO
Rutherford Farmers Co-op - Murfreesboro, TN*
Simplot Grower Solutions - Ames, IA
Simplot Grower Solutions - Beattie, KS*
Simplot Grower Solutions - Hatfield, MN*
Simplot Grower Solutions - Hermiston, OR*
Simplot Grower Solutions - Independence, IA
Simplot Grower Solutions - Indianola, IA
Simplot Grower Solutions - Kearney, NE
Simplot Grower Solutions - Mesa, WA*
Simplot Grower Solutions - Moses Lake, WA*
Simplot Grower Solutions - Salinas, CA*
Simplot Grower Solutions - Troy, KS*
Simplot Grower Solutions - Warden, WA*
Simplot Grower Solutions - Wellsville, KS*
Simplot Turf & Horticulture - Palm Desert, CA
Southern States Cooperative - Lumberton, NC*
Southern States Cooperative - Tarboro, NC*
The Andersons, Inc. - Sergeant Bluff, IA
Thomas Cayce Farm Supply, LLC - Princeton, KY*
Tri-State Growers, Inc. - Mountain City, TN*
TVC Lauderdale County Cooperative - Rogersville, AL*
Union Farmers Cooperative - Maynardville, TN*
Valley Agronomics LLC - McMinnville, OR
Valley Agronomics LLC - Paul, ID
Valley Agronomics LLC - Rickreall, OR
Valley Agronomics LLC - Salmon, ID
Wayne Farmers Co-op - Waynesboro, 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.