The ResponsibleAg Board of Directors held its first meeting this week at the offices of the Asmark Institute in Owensboro, Ky. During the meeting, directors elected Billy Pirkle, senior director, Environmental Health and Safety, Crop Production Services, as chairman of the board. Other officers elected were Pete Mutschler of CHS as Secretary and Scott Rawlins of Wilbur-Ellis as Treasurer.
ResponsibleAg is a self-governing, not-for-profit corporation founded this year by the fertilizer industry for the purpose of enhancing product stewardship at every level within the distribution chain. Utilizing third-party audits, ResponsibleAg will assist fertilizer storage and handling facilities achieve and maintain compliance with federal laws and regulations.
Remaining ResponsibleAg board members are Rod Wells (GROWMARK), Dave Ito (Lyman-Tremont Group), Alicia Duke (J.R. Simplot), Rosemary O’Brien (CF Industries), Tim McArdle (Brandt Consolidated) and Justin Gough (El Dorado Chemical). The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn and Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) President & CEO Daren Coppock will serve as non-voting ex officio board members.
The board will now select a contractor to manage the ResponsibleAg program. A position description for the role was approved by the board and will be circulated by ARA and TFI, with a submission deadline of May 31. A subcommittee of the board will screen the applicants and conduct in-person interviews with the finalists.
The Board is also forming a technical committee to oversee the development of specific content of assessment questionnaires, pre-qualification requirements for prospective auditors, and other technical issues. This committee is expected to be named by May 16 and will hold its first meeting in early June.
The importance of communications to industry participants and regulators, and partnering with state agribusiness associations in outreach, was a theme woven through much of the discussion at the meeting. ResponsibleAg will be visible and will have designated representatives on site at industry gatherings including the Southwestern Fertilizer Conference, held July 19-23 in San Antonio, Texas, and the MAGIE show, scheduled for August 20-21 in Bloomington, Ill.
The next meeting of the ResponsibleAg Board is scheduled for October 15.
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