For environmental health and safety managers in ag retail, the past 18 months were challenging.

Jamie Southard went above and beyond to meet that challenge. He was presented the 2016 ARA Distinguished Service Award for his exemplary efforts in a ceremony on Nov. 30 at the ARA Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla.

The ARA Distinguished Service Award honors an individual member of the association who has gone beyond the traditional member and volunteer responsibilities to support the ag retail industry and the association–making the industry better for all. Selected by the ARA executive committee, the designee may come from any ARA membership category: retail, distributor or manufacturer of equipment, chemicals and fertilizer.

Industry Advocate

Southard, an 18-year environmental health and safety veteran, stands out because of his understanding of the technical issues regarding anhydrous ammonia storage and handling and his contribution of time and energy to sharing his knowledge in the wake of the July 22, 2015, Process Safety Management (PSM) enforcement memo from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

He was an invaluable resource in preparing ARA’s legal brief in its suit against OSHA. Further, he devoted hours of his time assembling an affidavit in support of ARA’s case against OSHA. He also flew to Washington, D.C., to meet with OSHA officials.

“Jamie battled PSM on multiple fronts,” says ARA president and CEO Daren Coppock. “He simultaneously dealt with compliance within his organization while advocating against the misapplication of the regulation to regulators, legislators and the court. It was not an easy balancing act, and ARA’s efforts may not have been successful without his contribution, perseverance and commitment.”

Other recent recipients of the award include Bill Pirkle of Crop Production Services, Paul Derig of Simplot, Rod Schroeder of WinField, Kim Bohlander of Dow AgroSciences, Dan Weber of Ceres Solutions and Ken Manning of Wilbur-Ellis.