The Asmark Institute announced plans to recognize Ford B. West for his years of service to the fertilizer industry by dedicating a new training center—the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture—in his honor.
The facility will be used as a national training and education center for personnel employed in the agricultural input industry. Among other programs planned for the new facility will be the training of auditors to implement ResponsibleAg, an industry-led effort to assist agricultural retailers with compliance on a myriad of federal environmental, health, safety and security regulations.
Crop Production Services (CPS) recently donated the retired facility to the Asmark Institute to help make this national training center possible. The retired facility served as a retail farm center until 2014 when CPS consolidated local operations and closed the site. The Asmark Institute anticipates the renovation and construction project, which includes training scenarios, to cost one million dollars. Renovations at the new center will be complete this fall and include a classroom and computer lab along with the typical equipment and simulated operations found at ag retail locations nationwide.
A dedication ceremony to commemorate the launch of the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture will be held on October 27, 2014, in Owensboro, Ky. West served as the president of The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the best known national organization representing the agricultural nutrient industry. He retired in 2013 after 34 years of service to TFI and the industry.
"Ford West is known throughout the U.S. for his impeccable integrity, tireless work ethic and an inherent ability to quickly dissect complicated issues into a simple plan of action. It is very fitting that we honor him by creating a first-of-its-kind learning center that advances safety and compliance for the ag industry," said Allen Summers, president of the Asmark Institute.