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Newsletter
Volume 170
January 2, 2018

Best Wishes for a Safe, Healthy & Prosperous New Year

One of the real joys of ringing in a New Year is the opportunity to say "Thank You" and to wish you the very best for a safe, healthy and prosperous 2018! The new year promises to be another interesting one given the change in administration and the uncertainty surrounding some of the regulatory issues. We appreciate the relationship that has developed over all the years and the opportunity to work with you in 2018!

Retirement Wishes for Marie Cook

As 2017 passes we congratulate Marie Cook, Safety Director for Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC), on her career of over 35 years and thank her for serving as a Director on the Asmark Institute Board.  Marie announced her retirement earlier this year after successfully leading the safety department at AFC for many years.  Marie always generously contributed her time and professional expertise as a valued part of our Board of Directors and we will certainly miss her credibility, great work ethic, keen observations and quick sense of humor.  Under her leadership, the Asmark Institute developed several new Signature Training Courses, approved the donation to build and administer the ResponsibleAg initiative and created the Legacy Training Series to preserve the training presentations of outstanding industry speaker Dr. Fred Whitford.  Congratulations Marie!  Thank you for everything you did on behalf of the industry and the Asmark Institute!  Best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement!

Asmark Institute Welcomes Two New Board Members

The Asmark Institute Board of Directors recently welcomed two new members.   Dr. Fred Whitford is the Director of Purdue Pesticide Programs, a Purdue University’s extension program in West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr. Whitford has been with the Purdue Pesticide Programs for over 26 years. He has authored over 300 publications, given more than 5,500 presentations and recently began working with our DVD team to create the Legacy Series. Clark Capwell is with The McGregor Company, a Pacific Northwest agricultural retailer based in Colfax, Washington.  Clark has been with The McGregor Company for over 39 years and is currently the General Manager of Environmental, Health, Safety & Security.  The McGregor Company has 33 retail locations that serve the Pacific Northwest Palouse area in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Both bring a very valuable perspective adding to the diversity of the Asmark Institute Board of Directors.  Welcome Fred and Clark!

You Asked For It, Now You Have It!

Regulations can be hard to navigate, but your resources shouldn’t be.  Now with our website’s latest tool, the long-awaited search feature for Lighthouse clients, you can navigate smoothly.  This new tool is designed to help get you where you need to be, in one quick and easy step.  You can search for any feature or document on our website.  Once you login to Snapshots, this feature can be found under the logo at the top of the page. 

Risk Management Newsletter Goes Real Time

Why wait until the first of each month to get the information you need as our client?  Starting now, our Risk Management Newsletter will be available two ways.  For those who want it as it happens, follow us on Twitter @AsmarkInstitute, as well as use the news feed at the bottom of our home page. For others who prefer the once-a-month newsletter, we will compile the articles and publish at the beginning of the month as usual.  Our goal is to communicate relevant and timely information quickly instead of just once a month.  If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can go to www.twitter.com, click “Sign up” and provide some basic information to open an account.

ELD Mandate Begins

The rule that DOT published in 2015 became effective December 18, 2017 for most truck drivers.  Now an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) that synchronizes with the vehicle engine to automatically record driving time is required instead of paper log books.  If you haven’t already, motor carriers should check here to make sure the device they are using is on DOT’s list of registered devices.  If the vehicle was already using an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) before today, the motor carrier will have until December 16, 2019 to make the change to an ELD.  There are also exemptions for special situations, including ones for drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30-day period and for vehicles manufactured before the model year 2000.

EPA Calls Time Out on WPS Training To Gather More Comments

EPA finalized changes to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) on November 2, 2015 that goes into effect on January 2, 2018.  Companies need to be prepared to implement the expanded content that was finalized with the exception of training with the start of the new year.  EPA, in an unusual sequence of events, has indicated they need to ask for more comments before finalizing the training portion of the 2015 proposal.  By September 30, 2018, EPA expects to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking for public comment on proposed revisions for minimum ages, designated representatives, and application exclusion zones.  If any of those requirements change as a result of the rulemaking process, all of the training materials covering the expanded pesticide safety content will need to be changed.  The requirements for the expanded training content will go into effect 180 days after EPA publishes a notice of availability of training materials in the Federal Register.

Note:  EPA has not yet published a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of training materials and does not plan to issue a notice until the rulemaking process on the minimum age, designated representative and application exclusion zone requirements is complete.

AGCO 2017 Operator of the Year Announced

Andrew Myburgh of the Wheat Growers Cooperative in Aberdeen, South Dakota has been named the AGCO 2017 Operator of the Year. Myburgh is the 12th recipient of this annual award developed by AGCO who recognizes and understands the value that operators bring to the equation of custom application.  He is a Certified Applicator known for being a conscientious worker who knows the 40,000 acres he applies like the back of his hand and is often requested by name.  Myburgh mentors and trains other applicators who want to learn the trade and also coaches the local soccer team.  Congratulations to Andrew Myburgh for this top honor!

OSHA Accepting Injury and Illness Data Through December 31

OSHA has released a notice saying they will continue to accept 2016 OSHA Form 300A injury and illness data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) until midnight on December 31, 2017.  OSHA has said they will not take enforcement action against those employers who submit their reports after the December 15, 2017, deadline but before the December 31, 2017, final entry date.  Starting January 1, 2018, the ITA will no longer accept the 2016 data.  Remember, electronic recordkeeping is only required if you have 20 or more employees at one facility.

Spanish Employee Handbooks - Coming soon... or within about 30 days...

The Safe Agribusiness Operations Employee Handbook will soon be available in Spanish.  The long-awaited translation of the employee handbook is the last step towards having a full set of Spanish training materials available. From DVDs to certificates and questions, and now the employee handbook, translating all of our training materials into Spanish has been quite the task.  Anything we’ve done in Spanish, whether it’s translating or proofing, tends to take a little longer than anticipated.  We believe that not only is the Spanish language about 23% longer but that it also equates to more time.  Each time we have been asked when we’ll be finished with this project, the answer has been “in about 30 days” making this phrase our official motto when it comes to anything Spanish.  We are now closer than ever and expect to have Spanish Employee Handbooks in guess what.... about 30 days.  If you have questions about Spanish training materials, please contact Senorita Sherri at 270-926-4600 Ext 206.

Heads Up: Annual DVD Exchange Underway

Clients should have received their new DVD Number 4 by now as part of our annual update and exchange.  If you haven’t already, please locate the package and follow the instructions to complete the exchange by the deadline.  DVD Number 4, which includes Heat Related Illness, Hearing Conservation, Defensive Driving and Driving Nurse Trucks, has been updated with all new footage shot at farm centers literally from coast to coast.

New for 2018!  The First Edition of the new Legacy Series featuring Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University has been included as part of DVD Number 4.  This was made possible by a custom-made case that features room for a second DVD.  Dustin Warder, Brian Mason and Nick Clements on our video team have been working with Dr. Whitford to preserve as many of his highly sought-out presentations as possible before he retires sometime down the road.  The preservation and addition of these new topics underscores our commitment to ensuring our clients have access to the best training in the industry.  The new Legacy series DVD contains four new topics to help support your overall training program. 
The topics include:

Don’t Spring A Leak
Provides the design characteristics to look for in correctly selecting a hose.  Shows inspection guidelines to determine when a hose, clamp or fitting should be replaced.  Produced by the Asmark Institute DVD team with host Jeff Nalley, Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University and special guest Gary Grant of Ohio Valley Ag. This is a 42 minute program.  To further enhance your training experience on this topic, click here to obtain a copy of Dr. Whitford’s publication “The Selection and Inspection of Hoses” (PPP No. 089) from the Purdue Extension Publications Website.

Hold It Down
Presents securement regulations and guidelines for properly securing cargo on trucks and trailers.  Provides details on the proper techniques for loading, positioning and securing of cargo on a truck or trailer to prevent accidents in transit.  Produced by the Asmark Institute DVD team with host Jeff Nalley, Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University and special guest Mike Templeton of Surface Transportation Consulting.  This is a 57 minute program.  To further enhance your training experience on this topic, click here to obtain a copy of Dr. Whitford’s publication “Securing the Load: A Guide to Safe and Legal Transportation of Cargo and Equipment” (PPP No. 075) from the Purdue Extension Publications Website.

Roll On
Provides the practical information for selecting the right replacement tires for your vehicles.  Examines the rationale behind maintaining proper tire pressure and looks at what tire wear patterns can tell you about tire safety.  Produced by the Asmark Institute DVD team with host Jeff Nalley and Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University.  This is a 48 minute program.  To further enhance your training experience on this topic, click here to obtain a copy of Dr. Whitford’s publication “Tires For the Road and Field, A Guide to Getting the Best Value and Performance” (PPP No. 099) from the Purdue Extension Publications Website.

Stay Connected
Shows the critical factors that keep trailers properly attached to trucks.  Provides the details on how these factors work together to reduce your chances of losing a trailer on a busy highway.  Produced by the Asmark Institute DVD team with host Jeff Nalley, Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University and special guest Steve Hawkins of Purdue University.  This is a 48 minute program.  To further enhance your training experience on this topic, click here to obtain a copy of Dr. Whitford’s publication “Keep The Trailer Connected to The Truck” (PPP No. 092) from the Purdue Extension Publications Website.

Emergency Response Refresher Training Heads Southwest

For our clients located in the Southwest that have already completed the 4-day Emergency Response to Agricultural Incidents course - Watch your mail for your personalized invitation to the 8-hour Refresher Course.  New for 2018 are courses in Oxnard, California and Hillsboro, Texas.  These two new venues make a total of 11 courses to be offered this year in the Southwestern states of Arizona, California, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.  Classes are limited to 30 participants, so register today to make sure you are confirmed for the location of your choice.  This course has been a great success since beginning in 2001 when there were only 17 of these classes offered throughout the U.S. Today more than 1700 people are trained annually with just over 70 choices of Refresher Training locations.

OSHA AG-30 Course Wraps Up Successful First Year

More than 450 participants have received their 30-hour General Industry Health and Safety OSHA card since the first classes were presented at the end of 2016.  It’s certainly been a busy first year for Brian Miller, lead instructor for this popular new course.  This training is designed for facility managers or assistant managers, safety and health coordinators, EHS staff and personnel with responsibilities for safety and health at the facility.  The feedback from the participant’s evaluation of the course has been overwhelmingly positive.  The 2018 spring and summer course dates have been posted and we encourage at least one person per facility receive this training.  We recommend you register early to make sure you get the course dates of your choice.  Click here for more information or to register.

Respirator Wearers: Planning Ahead Saves Time

Winter is here which means now is the perfect time to get ready for spring season.  One topic especially worthy of your attention is respiratory protection, and for at least two good reasons.  Breathing contaminants is one of the fastest ways for life-threatening materials to get into your bloodstream which is why both OSHA and EPA have rules they enforce on respiratory protection.  Did you know that each year respiratory requirements appear as two of OSHA’s Top Ten List of Serious Violations?

Practically every farm center has employees that perform duties that involve breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays or vapors.  The handling of ammonia or exposure to open containers of pesticides are two of the most common reasons our clients are required by OSHA and/or EPA to wear respiratory protection.  Our training programs on respiratory protection helps outline who may need to be qualified and wear a respirator but the process of becoming properly qualified is not easy and the task of wearing a respirator is not popular.  These two simple facts result in a lot of people failing to complete their mission.

"Compliance built on experience” is more than a phrase and in this case, means we realize the topic of respiratory protection is not a popular or easy task to accomplish - so we can help by “kicking it up” a notch.  As we approach the end of the Annual Compliance Visit season, work begins to identify the locations that may be out of compliance and at-risk on this topic.  Locations that are identified will receive a courtesy call from Joann to discuss the situation at your farm center.  If work is needed to be in compliance, Joann will walk them through the process.

Joann is one of our staff that excels in taking complicated regulatory compliance rules, such as this one, and breaking it into smaller, simpler tasks that are easier to complete.  Joann will walk you through the Respirator Express™ tool that is designed to organize and streamline the qualification process for employees required to wear a respirator.  The process starts online at our website where the employee completes the medical questionnaire. Once submitted, a licensed medical professional reviews the information and upon approval, a personalized fit test form is generated and sent to the location to be completed.  Upon completion of the fit test, the information from the personalized form is entered into our database for tracking purposes.

There’s no better time than now to ensure your employees are ready to go when the spring season hits.  For more information, please contact Joann at 270-926-4600 Ext 229 or by E-mail at joann@asmark.org.

Fact or Fiction: $23,000 or $2,300?

When it comes to Asmark Institute, do you know what you’re paying?  Over the years we are routinely asked how much our Lighthouse retainer service costs.  For clients whose invoice is paid through their corporate office, this can be especially puzzling.  We’ve had more than one location incorrectly assume their total annual cost for our service was more than $20,000!  The truth is, the average location only pays about $2,300 per year for everything we do for them.

We best describe our billing structure as being similar to building a house using the “time and materials” concept.  The “time” portion is our retainer fee and “materials” are the reimbursements such as postage, UPS, copies, binders and other materials.  The material expenses are typical expenses your location would have whether you use our system or not.

Transparency has always been an underlying theme to how we work.  See for yourself - 24/7/365 - the detailed, monthly account of charges for your location can be found on the Snapshots Management Dashboard under the Financial Data section in the bottom left hand corner of the webpage.

As you check out the financial feature, we hope you will note our retainer fee hasn’t increased since 1998 due to advancements in technology and an ongoing emphasis on controlling expenses - both on your side and ours.  Our system has been designed to reward the clients who handle their risk management requirements proactively and in a timely manner.  For more information, contact Brian Mason at 270-926-4600 Ext. 230.

Paper Shortage Fuels Need for Electronic Service Program

The paper industry is undergoing some serious changes and the price and availability of paper will be affected.  The North American paper industry is in rapid decline.  Mills have let go thousands of workers and are competing for a shrinking market.  This will ultimately affect us, and be passed along to our clients, making this an opportune time to switch over to the Electronic Service Program (ESP).  Amber Duke, Vice President of the Asmark Institute has already been asked by our printer to substitute paper in two of our manuals.  The request stemmed from the mill that manufactured the stock used previously being sold in bankruptcy this summer.  Another of our suppliers announced that it will be idling a paper production machine in Catawba, South Carolina, removing 200,000 tons of capacity.  These examples follow suit with what is occurring across the industry.  Pulp prices continue to rise putting additional cost pressures on the paper mills.  Bottom-line, paper is going to become more expensive - underscoring the need to transition to using ESP as soon as possible.  Click here to learn more about ESP.

TFI Announces Win for Fertilizer Industry

EPA has decided not to issue a final regulation that could have cost the fertilizer industry billions of dollars according to The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).  The regulations that were proposed early in 2017 would have required certain hardrock mining operations, including phosphate and potash mining, to increase their amount of financial assurance above existing state and federal regulations.  “This is a big win for the fertilizer industry.  Our members are responsible mining operators who comply with existing regulations that already require millions of dollars to be set aside for emergency purposes,” said Chris Jahn, President of The Fertilizer Institute.  “These rules could have cost our members several billion dollars, taking resources away from businesses who want to put more money into the economy by hiring new employees and investing in capital improvement projects.”  Our thanks go out to the team at TFI for all their hard work on this issue.

European Union Renews Glyphosate Use

After a couple of years of debate among its members, the 28 nations that make up the European Union (EU) have approved a five-year license renewal for glyphosate.  This effectively removed a deadlock that dated back to the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) ruling that glyphosate was "a possible cancer-causing agent in humans" almost two years ago.  Although the EU’s chemical agency dismissed the IARC findings in March, several countries still opposed renewing the continued use of glyphosate.  In fact, nine nations voted against the extension, including France.  Eighteen other nations – including Spain, the United Kingdom, and Germany – voted in favor of the five-year renewal with Portugal abstaining.

Asmark Institute Produces First Webinar

New for 2018! Asmark Institute adds the ability to produce new high quality webinars for its clients and affiliates. Our first live trial shown here with Dustin leading a brief session on the dicamba relabeling issue as Brian produces the segment. More than a year of preparation has gone into adding this new service. The goal is to produce timely and high quality webinars on demand for the benefit of our new Inspire program members, clients and affiliated State Agribusiness associations. Our webinars will be recorded and archived on our website for later retrieval by clients. Click here to check out our first webinar.

Agritechnica 2017: Green Future - Smart Technology

Check out Matthew Grassi’s (CropLife magazine) 5 Quick Takeaways fresh from the European Agritechnica Show.  Agritechnica’s unique international character attracts more than 450,000 visitors from 115 countries. And with 2,900 companies presenting products and services, the fair once again delivered a large platform for the agricultural machinery industry.  Click here to read Matthew's full article.

Best Wishes for a Safe, Healthy & Prosperous New Year

One of the real joys of ringing in a New Year is the opportunity to say "Thank You" and to wish you the very best for a safe, healthy and prosperous 2018! The new year promises to be another interesting one given the change in administration and the uncertainty surrounding some of the regulatory issues. We appreciate the relationship that has developed over all the years and the opportunity to work with you in 2018!

Retirement Wishes for Marie Cook

As 2017 passes we congratulate Marie Cook, Safety Director for Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC), on her career of over 35 years and thank her for serving as a Director on the Asmark Institute Board.  Marie announced her retirement earlier this year after successfully leading the safety department at AFC for many years.  Marie always generously contributed her time and professional expertise as a valued part of our Board of Directors and we will certainly miss her credibility, great work ethic, keen observations and quick sense of humor.  Under her leadership, the Asmark Institute developed several new Signature Training Courses, approved the donation to build and administer the ResponsibleAg initiative and created the Legacy Training Series to preserve the training presentations of outstanding industry speaker Dr. Fred Whitford.  Congratulations Marie!  Thank you for everything you did on behalf of the industry and the Asmark Institute!  Best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement!

Asmark Institute Welcomes Two New Board Members

The Asmark Institute Board of Directors recently welcomed two new members.   Dr. Fred Whitford is the Director of Purdue Pesticide Programs, a Purdue University’s extension program in West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr. Whitford has been with the Purdue Pesticide Programs for over 26 years. He has authored over 300 publications, given more than 5,500 presentations and recently began working with our DVD team to create the Legacy Series. Clark Capwell is with The McGregor Company, a Pacific Northwest agricultural retailer based in Colfax, Washington.  Clark has been with The McGregor Company for over 39 years and is currently the General Manager of Environmental, Health, Safety & Security.  The McGregor Company has 33 retail locations that serve the Pacific Northwest Palouse area in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Both bring a very valuable perspective adding to the diversity of the Asmark Institute Board of Directors.  Welcome Fred and Clark!

You Asked For It, Now You Have It!

Regulations can be hard to navigate, but your resources shouldn’t be.  Now with our website’s latest tool, the long-awaited search feature for Lighthouse clients, you can navigate smoothly.  This new tool is designed to help get you where you need to be, in one quick and easy step.  You can search for any feature or document on our website.  Once you login to Snapshots, this feature can be found under the logo at the top of the page. 

Risk Management Newsletter Goes Real Time

Why wait until the first of each month to get the information you need as our client?  Starting now, our Risk Management Newsletter will be available two ways.  For those who want it as it happens, follow us on Twitter @AsmarkInstitute, as well as use the news feed at the bottom of our home page. For others who prefer the once-a-month newsletter, we will compile the articles and publish at the beginning of the month as usual.  Our goal is to communicate relevant and timely information quickly instead of just once a month.  If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can go to www.twitter.com, click “Sign up” and provide some basic information to open an account.

ELD Mandate Begins

The rule that DOT published in 2015 became effective December 18, 2017 for most truck drivers.  Now an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) that synchronizes with the vehicle engine to automatically record driving time is required instead of paper log books.  If you haven’t already, motor carriers should check here to make sure the device they are using is on DOT’s list of registered devices.  If the vehicle was already using an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) before today, the motor carrier will have until December 16, 2019 to make the change to an ELD.  There are also exemptions for special situations, including ones for drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30-day period and for vehicles manufactured before the model year 2000.

EPA Calls Time Out on WPS Training To Gather More Comments

EPA finalized changes to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) on November 2, 2015 that goes into effect on January 2, 2018.  Companies need to be prepared to implement the expanded content that was finalized with the exception of training with the start of the new year.  EPA, in an unusual sequence of events, has indicated they need to ask for more comments before finalizing the training portion of the 2015 proposal.  By September 30, 2018, EPA expects to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking for public comment on proposed revisions for minimum ages, designated representatives, and application exclusion zones.  If any of those requirements change as a result of the rulemaking process, all of the training materials covering the expanded pesticide safety content will need to be changed.  The requirements for the expanded training content will go into effect 180 days after EPA publishes a notice of availability of training materials in the Federal Register.

Note:  EPA has not yet published a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of training materials and does not plan to issue a notice until the rulemaking process on the minimum age, designated representative and application exclusion zone requirements is complete.

AGCO 2017 Operator of the Year Announced

Andrew Myburgh of the Wheat Growers Cooperative in Aberdeen, South Dakota has been named the AGCO 2017 Operator of the Year. Myburgh is the 12th recipient of this annual award developed by AGCO who recognizes and understands the value that operators bring to the equation of custom application.  He is a Certified Applicator known for being a conscientious worker who knows the 40,000 acres he applies like the back of his hand and is often requested by name.  Myburgh mentors and trains other applicators who want to learn the trade and also coaches the local soccer team.  Congratulations to Andrew Myburgh for this top honor!

OSHA Accepting Injury and Illness Data Through December 31

OSHA has released a notice saying they will continue to accept 2016 OSHA Form 300A injury and illness data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) until midnight on December 31, 2017.  OSHA has said they will not take enforcement action against those employers who submit their reports after the December 15, 2017, deadline but before the December 31, 2017, final entry date.  Starting January 1, 2018, the ITA will no longer accept the 2016 data.  Remember, electronic recordkeeping is only required if you have 20 or more employees at one facility.

Spanish Employee Handbooks - Coming soon... or within about 30 days...

The Safe Agribusiness Operations Employee Handbook will soon be available in Spanish.  The long-awaited translation of the employee handbook is the last step towards having a full set of Spanish training materials available. From DVDs to certificates and questions, and now the employee handbook, translating all of our training materials into Spanish has been quite the task.  Anything we’ve done in Spanish, whether it’s translating or proofing, tends to take a little longer than anticipated.  We believe that not only is the Spanish language about 23% longer but that it also equates to more time.  Each time we have been asked when we’ll be finished with this project, the answer has been “in about 30 days” making this phrase our official motto when it comes to anything Spanish.  We are now closer than ever and expect to have Spanish Employee Handbooks in guess what.... about 30 days.  If you have questions about Spanish training materials, please contact Senorita Sherri at 270-926-4600 Ext 206.

Heads Up: Annual DVD Exchange Underway

Clients should have received their new DVD Number 4 by now as part of our annual update and exchange.  If you haven’t already, please locate the package and follow the instructions to complete the exchange by the deadline.  DVD Number 4, which includes Heat Related Illness, Hearing Conservation, Defensive Driving and Driving Nurse Trucks, has been updated with all new footage shot at farm centers literally from coast to coast.

New for 2018!  The First Edition of the new Legacy Series featuring Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University has been included as part of DVD Number 4.  This was made possible by a custom-made case that features room for a second DVD.  Dustin Warder, Brian Mason and Nick Clements on our video team have been working with Dr. Whitford to preserve as many of his highly sought-out presentations as possible before he retires sometime down the road.  The preservation and addition of these new topics underscores our commitment to ensuring our clients have access to the best training in the industry.  The new Legacy series DVD contains four new topics to help support your overall training program. 
The topics include:

Don’t Spring A Leak
Provides the design characteristics to look for in correctly selecting a hose.  Shows inspection guidelines to determine when a hose, clamp or fitting should be replaced.  Produced by the Asmark Institute DVD team with host Jeff Nalley, Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University and special guest Gary Grant of Ohio Valley Ag. This is a 42 minute program.  To further enhance your training experience on this topic, click here to obtain a copy of Dr. Whitford’s publication “The Selection and Inspection of Hoses” (PPP No. 089) from the Purdue Extension Publications Website.

Hold It Down
Presents securement regulations and guidelines for properly securing cargo on trucks and trailers.  Provides details on the proper techniques for loading, positioning and securing of cargo on a truck or trailer to prevent accidents in transit.  Produced by the Asmark Institute DVD team with host Jeff Nalley, Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University and special guest Mike Templeton of Surface Transportation Consulting.  This is a 57 minute program.  To further enhance your training experience on this topic, click here to obtain a copy of Dr. Whitford’s publication “Securing the Load: A Guide to Safe and Legal Transportation of Cargo and Equipment” (PPP No. 075) from the Purdue Extension Publications Website.

Roll On
Provides the practical information for selecting the right replacement tires for your vehicles.  Examines the rationale behind maintaining proper tire pressure and looks at what tire wear patterns can tell you about tire safety.  Produced by the Asmark Institute DVD team with host Jeff Nalley and Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University.  This is a 48 minute program.  To further enhance your training experience on this topic, click here to obtain a copy of Dr. Whitford’s publication “Tires For the Road and Field, A Guide to Getting the Best Value and Performance” (PPP No. 099) from the Purdue Extension Publications Website.

Stay Connected
Shows the critical factors that keep trailers properly attached to trucks.  Provides the details on how these factors work together to reduce your chances of losing a trailer on a busy highway.  Produced by the Asmark Institute DVD team with host Jeff Nalley, Dr. Fred Whitford of Purdue University and special guest Steve Hawkins of Purdue University.  This is a 48 minute program.  To further enhance your training experience on this topic, click here to obtain a copy of Dr. Whitford’s publication “Keep The Trailer Connected to The Truck” (PPP No. 092) from the Purdue Extension Publications Website.

Emergency Response Refresher Training Heads Southwest

For our clients located in the Southwest that have already completed the 4-day Emergency Response to Agricultural Incidents course - Watch your mail for your personalized invitation to the 8-hour Refresher Course.  New for 2018 are courses in Oxnard, California and Hillsboro, Texas.  These two new venues make a total of 11 courses to be offered this year in the Southwestern states of Arizona, California, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.  Classes are limited to 30 participants, so register today to make sure you are confirmed for the location of your choice.  This course has been a great success since beginning in 2001 when there were only 17 of these classes offered throughout the U.S. Today more than 1700 people are trained annually with just over 70 choices of Refresher Training locations.

OSHA AG-30 Course Wraps Up Successful First Year

More than 450 participants have received their 30-hour General Industry Health and Safety OSHA card since the first classes were presented at the end of 2016.  It’s certainly been a busy first year for Brian Miller, lead instructor for this popular new course.  This training is designed for facility managers or assistant managers, safety and health coordinators, EHS staff and personnel with responsibilities for safety and health at the facility.  The feedback from the participant’s evaluation of the course has been overwhelmingly positive.  The 2018 spring and summer course dates have been posted and we encourage at least one person per facility receive this training.  We recommend you register early to make sure you get the course dates of your choice.  Click here for more information or to register.

Respirator Wearers: Planning Ahead Saves Time

Winter is here which means now is the perfect time to get ready for spring season.  One topic especially worthy of your attention is respiratory protection, and for at least two good reasons.  Breathing contaminants is one of the fastest ways for life-threatening materials to get into your bloodstream which is why both OSHA and EPA have rules they enforce on respiratory protection.  Did you know that each year respiratory requirements appear as two of OSHA’s Top Ten List of Serious Violations?

Practically every farm center has employees that perform duties that involve breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays or vapors.  The handling of ammonia or exposure to open containers of pesticides are two of the most common reasons our clients are required by OSHA and/or EPA to wear respiratory protection.  Our training programs on respiratory protection helps outline who may need to be qualified and wear a respirator but the process of becoming properly qualified is not easy and the task of wearing a respirator is not popular.  These two simple facts result in a lot of people failing to complete their mission.

"Compliance built on experience” is more than a phrase and in this case, means we realize the topic of respiratory protection is not a popular or easy task to accomplish - so we can help by “kicking it up” a notch.  As we approach the end of the Annual Compliance Visit season, work begins to identify the locations that may be out of compliance and at-risk on this topic.  Locations that are identified will receive a courtesy call from Joann to discuss the situation at your farm center.  If work is needed to be in compliance, Joann will walk them through the process.

Joann is one of our staff that excels in taking complicated regulatory compliance rules, such as this one, and breaking it into smaller, simpler tasks that are easier to complete.  Joann will walk you through the Respirator Express™ tool that is designed to organize and streamline the qualification process for employees required to wear a respirator.  The process starts online at our website where the employee completes the medical questionnaire. Once submitted, a licensed medical professional reviews the information and upon approval, a personalized fit test form is generated and sent to the location to be completed.  Upon completion of the fit test, the information from the personalized form is entered into our database for tracking purposes.

There’s no better time than now to ensure your employees are ready to go when the spring season hits.  For more information, please contact Joann at 270-926-4600 Ext 229 or by E-mail at joann@asmark.org.

Fact or Fiction: $23,000 or $2,300?

When it comes to Asmark Institute, do you know what you’re paying?  Over the years we are routinely asked how much our Lighthouse retainer service costs.  For clients whose invoice is paid through their corporate office, this can be especially puzzling.  We’ve had more than one location incorrectly assume their total annual cost for our service was more than $20,000!  The truth is, the average location only pays about $2,300 per year for everything we do for them.

We best describe our billing structure as being similar to building a house using the “time and materials” concept.  The “time” portion is our retainer fee and “materials” are the reimbursements such as postage, UPS, copies, binders and other materials.  The material expenses are typical expenses your location would have whether you use our system or not.

Transparency has always been an underlying theme to how we work.  See for yourself - 24/7/365 - the detailed, monthly account of charges for your location can be found on the Snapshots Management Dashboard under the Financial Data section in the bottom left hand corner of the webpage.

As you check out the financial feature, we hope you will note our retainer fee hasn’t increased since 1998 due to advancements in technology and an ongoing emphasis on controlling expenses - both on your side and ours.  Our system has been designed to reward the clients who handle their risk management requirements proactively and in a timely manner.  For more information, contact Brian Mason at 270-926-4600 Ext. 230.

Paper Shortage Fuels Need for Electronic Service Program

The paper industry is undergoing some serious changes and the price and availability of paper will be affected.  The North American paper industry is in rapid decline.  Mills have let go thousands of workers and are competing for a shrinking market.  This will ultimately affect us, and be passed along to our clients, making this an opportune time to switch over to the Electronic Service Program (ESP).  Amber Duke, Vice President of the Asmark Institute has already been asked by our printer to substitute paper in two of our manuals.  The request stemmed from the mill that manufactured the stock used previously being sold in bankruptcy this summer.  Another of our suppliers announced that it will be idling a paper production machine in Catawba, South Carolina, removing 200,000 tons of capacity.  These examples follow suit with what is occurring across the industry.  Pulp prices continue to rise putting additional cost pressures on the paper mills.  Bottom-line, paper is going to become more expensive - underscoring the need to transition to using ESP as soon as possible.  Click here to learn more about ESP.

TFI Announces Win for Fertilizer Industry

EPA has decided not to issue a final regulation that could have cost the fertilizer industry billions of dollars according to The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).  The regulations that were proposed early in 2017 would have required certain hardrock mining operations, including phosphate and potash mining, to increase their amount of financial assurance above existing state and federal regulations.  “This is a big win for the fertilizer industry.  Our members are responsible mining operators who comply with existing regulations that already require millions of dollars to be set aside for emergency purposes,” said Chris Jahn, President of The Fertilizer Institute.  “These rules could have cost our members several billion dollars, taking resources away from businesses who want to put more money into the economy by hiring new employees and investing in capital improvement projects.”  Our thanks go out to the team at TFI for all their hard work on this issue.

European Union Renews Glyphosate Use

After a couple of years of debate among its members, the 28 nations that make up the European Union (EU) have approved a five-year license renewal for glyphosate.  This effectively removed a deadlock that dated back to the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) ruling that glyphosate was "a possible cancer-causing agent in humans" almost two years ago.  Although the EU’s chemical agency dismissed the IARC findings in March, several countries still opposed renewing the continued use of glyphosate.  In fact, nine nations voted against the extension, including France.  Eighteen other nations – including Spain, the United Kingdom, and Germany – voted in favor of the five-year renewal with Portugal abstaining.

Asmark Institute Produces First Webinar

New for 2018! Asmark Institute adds the ability to produce new high quality webinars for its clients and affiliates. Our first live trial shown here with Dustin leading a brief session on the dicamba relabeling issue as Brian produces the segment. More than a year of preparation has gone into adding this new service. The goal is to produce timely and high quality webinars on demand for the benefit of our new Inspire program members, clients and affiliated State Agribusiness associations. Our webinars will be recorded and archived on our website for later retrieval by clients. Click here to check out our first webinar.

Agritechnica 2017: Green Future - Smart Technology

Check out Matthew Grassi’s (CropLife magazine) 5 Quick Takeaways fresh from the European Agritechnica Show.  Agritechnica’s unique international character attracts more than 450,000 visitors from 115 countries. And with 2,900 companies presenting products and services, the fair once again delivered a large platform for the agricultural machinery industry.  Click here to read Matthew's full article.
Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.