As of Dec. 31, Allen Summers will retire from Asmark Institute. Summers served as president of the organization since he founded it in 1990. His career has been rooted in agriculture and spans more than 40 years as a farmer, distributor, retailer and leader at Asmark.
“It’s been a great run,” Summers says. “It’s interesting that everything we’ve developed has been because someone needed something.”
Asmark Institute has become a national resource focused on serving the ag retail industry with compliance materials and services since the industry is under the regulatory framework of OSHA, EPA, USDA, DOT and DHS. The nonprofit organization has also worked to develop “common sense” solutions to new regulatory requirements.
The organization has grown to include more than $5 million in training facilities and hands-on stations. (See more in the timeline.)
“Our industry has come a long way in understanding the benefits that come from complying with rules for health and safety,” Summers says. “But we still have a long way to go.”
He notes one standout example being ResponsibleAg.
“It would have been wrong of us to sit on the sidelines with the time, talent and resources we have, but instead, we’ve supported the initiative pro bono since day one,” he says. “Our board of directors felt strongly that ResponsibleAg was a good endeavor.”
One of Summers’ biggest legacies will be the development of the Signature Training Courses.
Summers notes the organization has planned for succession and transition for more than 10 years. Looking ahead, Amber Duke will be the president and CEO. Megan Hill, manager of data and processes, will replace Allen’s wife, Susan.