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Volume 173
April 2, 2018

Happy Retirement to David Martin!

If you’ve ever been to our Emergency Response to Agricultural Incidents course in LaVergne, TN, you’ll remember David Martin.  David has served as the Training Center Manager for the course since it was moved there from Owensboro nine years ago.  David began his career in 1967 at Tennessee Farmers Cooperative (TFC) in the engineering department and, in fact, was part of the team that designed the very building that currently serves as the Training Center.  David transitioned to the role of Director of EH&S in 1972 and served on the original Asmark Institute Board of Directors from 2005 until 2014.  He officially retired from TFC in 2007 but continued to represent them performing various special projects.

David has been a big part of keeping everything “running” as the Training Facility Manager.  From “spilling” things and causing “waterworks” during the course to keeping the training center and props in tip-top shape, David has been a key in the success of the course. He’s ensured that all of the outdoor exercises “go off” without a hitch to help produce the ultimate hands-on learning experience for the participants.  David will be retiring on April 1st to spend more time with his wife Trish of 53 years, enjoying their two grandchildren and focusing on his woodworking hobby.  We thank David for everything he has done for us over all the years and we wish him the very best in his retirement!  We hope he and Trish enjoy many years of a healthy and happy retirement!

Spanish Training Kits - A Popular Option for Employees

It has now been a few weeks since the launch of Spanish New Hire Kits and the ability to track which employees need Spanish training certificates in their monthly kit.  Already, we have had several locations request Spanish training materials for their employees.  This option has been popular in the field, particularly for our clients in Texas and California where many of the Spanish speaking workers reside.

If you have employees who would benefit from using Spanish training materials instead of English during your safety meetings, please contact the training department at 270-926-4600 Ext. 502.  For more information about Spanish New Hire Kits see our article from March 7th here.

Watch for your set of 2018 Regulatory Posters!

The 2018 regulatory posters have shipped and should hit your desk sometime this week. The set of three includes posters with information on DOT shipping descriptions, Worker Protection Standards and Restricted-Use Products. Amber Duke heads up the ProFiles Database and printed materials such as the popular set of posters. Amber can be contacted at 270-926-4600, Ext 213.

Ag Industry Loses a True Pioneer

We were saddened to learn that Billy Joe Miles with Miles Farm Supply died Tuesday, March 13, 2018.  Billy Joe was 78 years old and a true pioneer in the agricultural industry.  His name will forever be linked to the introduction of high-yield wheat and countless ideas he championed to help make his customers successful.  We have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Billy Joe since 1983.  Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.  In the fall of 2014 I was asked to write a tribute to Billy Joe.  If you want to know the Billy Joe Miles that we knew, the one that has influenced our lives and business here at Asmark, take a moment and review the tribute.

Bill Basham Sr. - Safety Hero and Golf Enthusiast

From defusing a bomb, to responding to a hazardous waste spill or playing a spirited round of golf, Bill Basham Sr. somehow manages to remain calm and in charge of the situation.  In 2008, Bill became the lead instructor of the Emergency Response to Agricultural Incidents Course (HazWoper) and remains so today, with help from his son Billy.  With more than 26 years of service in the Marine Corp, he worked his way up to become the Commanding Officer over the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Section supervising more than 150 emergency response teams, where he received the Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Department of Navy Meritorious Service Medal.  Later forming his own safety company, Bill brings with him over 40 years of experience in dealing with hazardous substances.  He has been married to his wife Teresa for 50 years and they have two sons, Billy and Shelton.

With diligence and passion, Bill’s unique style of teaching manages to keep course participants engaged.  Intriguing real life stories, where fact is usually more colorful than fiction, help drive the popularity of the HazWoper course.  To date, over 4,000 participants “none of whom have fallen asleep” have successfully completed and received certification for Emergency Response training.

Bill has two main passions, safety and golf.  As a result when he’s not in the classroom he can be found on the golf course.  So the next time you are in the Nashville area, listen for a commanding voice yelling “Fore!” in case one of his explosive golf balls whiz your way.

Farm-Related (Seasonal) CDL Report Updated

First prepared in 2010, this timely report - Restricted CDL Report - summarizes each state’s requirements for the Farm-Related (Seasonal) CDL.  The report has helped a lot of our clients cut through the confusion they encounter on this subject.  Once again, Joann has reviewed each state's rule and found that 23 of the 50 states offer the Farm-Related or Seasonal License.  The federal government allows states to issue this type of CDL but does not mandate their participation or support - which generates a fair amount of confusion.

The “seasonal” CDL is very beneficial to our industry especially during peak seasons and are only issued to farm-related industries, which include farm retail outlets and suppliers, agrichemical businesses, custom harvesters and livestock feeders, for Class B or C vehicles.  If you have any questions or need more information, click here to view the Restricted CDL Report or contact Joann at Ext 229 or by email at joann@asmark.org.

ResponsibleAg Auditor Training - Register Today!

Several organizations are signing up for the training to become contract auditors or to learn firsthand about ResponsibleAg - they want to see how it works - so they will be ready for their audit. More than 185 people have already participated in the training, with 108 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Two classes are offered per year. Reserve your seat in the upcoming June course now. Click here to register.

It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg

More than 2,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 1,023 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org

Fall Protection Recall Notices

Two recalls involving fall protection equipment have been issued nationwide.  The first recall involves the installation and use of a permanently installed roof mounted fall protection system called the Sala Evolution Horizontal Lifeline System.  3M has received field reports of broken end posts on these systems and have issued an immediate Global Stop Use order along with actions to replace all roof mounted end posts used in this system between 2005 and 2015 (at which time the Evolution HLL System was discontinued).  End users and building owners who have these systems installed are asked to stop using this system immediately, lock it out and contact 3M Fall Protection.  These types of fall protection systems are not commonly used in the industry, however, you are encouraged to review the recall to determine if you have this particular fall protection system installed in any of your facilities.  Click here to view the notice.

The other recall involves the MSA Gravity Welder Harness.  Upon investigation, MSA has determined that the leg strap and chest strap used in select MSA Gravity Welder Harnesses are incompatible.  Although the harness can be donned, in the event of a fall, the shoulder straps may extend and affect the protection offered by the harness.  MSA is advising all MSA Gravity Welder Harness customers to immediately stop use of affected MSA Gravity Welder Harnesses produced from July 2015 through, and including, January 2018.  The harnesses are to be removed from service, marked "UNUSABLE" and destroyed.  Review the recall for more details and the steps you need to take to determine which harnesses are affected and how to obtain replacements from MSA.  Click here to view the notice.  Our thanks to our affiliate Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA) for bringing these recalls to our attention.

Ammonia Technician Course Dates Announced

We are pleased to announce the 2018 schedule for the Ammonia Technician Course.  The course format has been updated allowing us to cover all the same outstanding materials, but in a two-day course - reducing the time that a participant is away from the facility.  The course will now be two full days, with lunch provided on-site each day, to help make the class time more efficient.

The course is geared toward the personnel responsible for operating an ammonia installation and are required by EPA and OSHA to be trained to maintain the ongoing mechanical integrity of the equipment used in the process.  Training is the key to performing maintenance operations - safely!  This training is valid for three years and classes are limited to 22 participants, so register today to ensure you get the class date that is best for you.  Click here to register.

Hazardous Materials Safety Permit for Ammonia?

Speaking at a convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, Paul Bomgardner, Chief of DOT's Hazardous Materials Division said the policy will remain this way, even though the change has resulted in unintended consequences.  Reinforcing the previous announcement, DOT will maintain its permitting stance on the transportation of anhydrous ammonia domestically.  For anhydrous ammonia in domestic transportation and described as UN1005 ammonia, anhydrous 2.2 Inhalation Hazard, a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) is not required.

For anhydrous ammonia described as UN1005, ammonia, anhydrous 2.3 Poison Inhalation Hazard or Toxic Inhalation Hazard, Zone D, and when transported in a packaging having a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons, an HMSP is required.  In these instances, anhydrous ammonia meets the definition of a material that is Poison-By-Inhalation or Toxic-By-Inhalation as defined in 49 CFR 171.8 and meets the criteria for a hazard Zone D as specified in 49 CFR 173.116(a).

“Even though in the United States we classify it as a 2.2 inhalation hazard, it’s still the same stuff that internationally has a classification of 2.3 Zone D toxic inhalation,” Bomgardner said.  “Those materials fit into the regulatory requirement for having to have a hazmat safety permit.  However, with the domestic side of 2.2, it was argued, and our council agreed, that 2.2s, nonflammable, nontoxic, compressed gases, cannot be assigned to a hazard zone.  Therefore, those materials cannot fit the definition of something that needs a hazmat safety permit.”

“So we did a run in our database and found there were about 245 motor carriers that have a hazmat safety permit specifically for the transportation of anhydrous ammonia.  We notified all 245 of them and said, ‘Hey, if you do domestic transportation of anhydrous ammonia and you describe it on the shipping paper as a 2.2, you don’t need a hazmat safety permit.  If you transport anhydrous ammonia and you describe it on a shipping paper as 2.3 Zone D, you need a hazmat safety permit.’”

“We also said in the notification, ‘If you don’t want to maintain your hazmat safety permit, let us know and we will take you out of the program.’ Everybody’s heard of unintended consequences, right?  So now we have manufacturers and shippers saying, ‘Where’s your hazmat safety permit?’ The carrier says, ‘We don’t need it.’ The shipper says, ‘If you want to take my stuff, you do.’ So the shippers are now turning away those carriers that don’t have the hazmat safety permit.”

He said that for those 235 carriers that kept the hazmat safety permit, DOT’s assumption is that they’re doing international shipments.

“If you make it on the enhanced oversight list, we have to do a comprehensive investigation of you,” he said.  “If we go after one of those carriers, and we say, ‘But you’re doing domestic transportation of anhydrous; you don’t need a hazmat safety permit,’ we are going to pull that permit and not do the comprehensive investigation and let you go on your own.  So you may lose the permit that way. Somebody who’s just getting into the business might say, ‘I need that permit.’  Sorry, the regulation says we issue these to people who require it, not who just want it.”

New Wave of Rising Paper Costs Has Begun

As predicted, the 2018 paper price hike announcements have materialized causing a substantial rise in the cost of almost all paper grades produced in North America.  Considering the persistent shortage of paper supply, increased costs of pulp and rising transportation demands, our printers and suppliers of paper-based materials have announced a price increase of up to 9%.

With the North American paper industry in rapid decline and the cost of mailing and shipping rates increasing every year, there is no better time than now to sign up for the Electronic Service Program (ESP).  Click here to review the ESP program and sign up today!

Open Season On Tracking Your Package

Sometimes the best way to start the hunt for your package may be our UPS Tracking feature on Snapshots.  This handy resource allows you to track your package once we ship it, so you’re in the loop every step of the way.  It provides you with what we shipped, when we shipped it and a tracking number that takes you to the UPS website for further information.  If you know a package should have arrived and you can’t place your fingers on it, you can start your hunt by going to the green UPS Tracking folder on Snapshots.  Find the tracking number that coincides with the package you are expecting and click to follow your package’s trail.

Interactive Periodic Table of Elements

Check this out!  The Nutrient for Life Foundation is making old tools new again.  The periodic table poster has long been one of our favorites, and the time has come to expand the use of this valuable tool.  The periodic table poster is now available as an interactive tool that allows students to interact with the poster online to get a broader view of information.  This new option engages students and gives them a deeper understanding of all the plant nutrients.  Click here to take a look at this new option today.

Every Person Counts

Some companies believe website counters are old-fashioned, typically because they programmed them to tally every click made while on their website. We value our clients and went about building our website counter to provide a little more meaningful count on our progress. Our website counter increases by one each day when one of our clients accesses it - regardless of the number of pages or clicks.  When we hit milestone numbers, like the 1,000,000th and 2,000,000th actual person to access our website, we celebrated with them by sending them an Asmark Institute replica truck.

We are working our way to the next milestone number, so stay proactive because you could be the 3,000,000th person to access our website and win the next Asmark truck.  This funny video of an old UPS commercial perfectly describes what our team here at Asmark looked like when we first watched our count number grow, from our excitement to the realization of the more website visitors we have, the more work we have cut out for us in the future.

And They Said It Couldn’t Be Done...

Here at Asmark, we have a staff with an incredible work ethic, creative ideas and strong determination to get things done the right way.  After all, if you are going to do something - do it right.  Another characteristic that emerges every now and then is the “Hold my beer” mentality.  You know, those moments when inspiration takes hold on a project they said couldn’t be done.  This is not a new concept as many of us are certain it was originally developed by our founder and fearless leader, Allen Summers.  This way of thinking is really the cornerstone of many of our projects, especially the projects that have never been done before.  For example, we launched our new Applicator Course in Bloomington, IL last year and in this course we built many “never been done before” things.  One of those projects was to attach cameras to the tops of all 5 applicators that are used in the Ride-N-Drive activity so that the course instructor can see what the applicators can see as they maneuver the mile long track.  Tyler Marlman, our resident hardware expert, was given the task to make it happen.  Tyler started making phone calls and office visits with various different technology companies and the answer from each company was always the same - “It can’t be done.”  After repeatedly hearing the same response, Tyler’s “Hold my beer” way of thinking took over and he buckled down, and with an even greater amount of determination, was able to come up with a means to accomplish this task - not only in a timely manner, but economically as well.

Tyler’s camera system is truly one of a kind and the only one in the country.  The camera mounted on top of each of the applicators are linked to a control tower on the course that transmits the signals enabling there to be interaction, both visual and vocal, between each of the applicators with the instructor in the control booth.  Besides being really cool, these cameras serve the purpose of providing guidance, security and safety throughout the Ride-N-Drive activity.  To see these cameras live in action,  schedule your week of applicator training here.

Happy Retirement to David Martin!

If you’ve ever been to our Emergency Response to Agricultural Incidents course in LaVergne, TN, you’ll remember David Martin.  David has served as the Training Center Manager for the course since it was moved there from Owensboro nine years ago.  David began his career in 1967 at Tennessee Farmers Cooperative (TFC) in the engineering department and, in fact, was part of the team that designed the very building that currently serves as the Training Center.  David transitioned to the role of Director of EH&S in 1972 and served on the original Asmark Institute Board of Directors from 2005 until 2014.  He officially retired from TFC in 2007 but continued to represent them performing various special projects.

David has been a big part of keeping everything “running” as the Training Facility Manager.  From “spilling” things and causing “waterworks” during the course to keeping the training center and props in tip-top shape, David has been a key in the success of the course. He’s ensured that all of the outdoor exercises “go off” without a hitch to help produce the ultimate hands-on learning experience for the participants.  David will be retiring on April 1st to spend more time with his wife Trish of 53 years, enjoying their two grandchildren and focusing on his woodworking hobby.  We thank David for everything he has done for us over all the years and we wish him the very best in his retirement!  We hope he and Trish enjoy many years of a healthy and happy retirement!

Spanish Training Kits - A Popular Option for Employees

It has now been a few weeks since the launch of Spanish New Hire Kits and the ability to track which employees need Spanish training certificates in their monthly kit.  Already, we have had several locations request Spanish training materials for their employees.  This option has been popular in the field, particularly for our clients in Texas and California where many of the Spanish speaking workers reside.

If you have employees who would benefit from using Spanish training materials instead of English during your safety meetings, please contact the training department at 270-926-4600 Ext. 502.  For more information about Spanish New Hire Kits see our article from March 7th here.

Watch for your set of 2018 Regulatory Posters!

The 2018 regulatory posters have shipped and should hit your desk sometime this week. The set of three includes posters with information on DOT shipping descriptions, Worker Protection Standards and Restricted-Use Products. Amber Duke heads up the ProFiles Database and printed materials such as the popular set of posters. Amber can be contacted at 270-926-4600, Ext 213.

Ag Industry Loses a True Pioneer

We were saddened to learn that Billy Joe Miles with Miles Farm Supply died Tuesday, March 13, 2018.  Billy Joe was 78 years old and a true pioneer in the agricultural industry.  His name will forever be linked to the introduction of high-yield wheat and countless ideas he championed to help make his customers successful.  We have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Billy Joe since 1983.  Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.  In the fall of 2014 I was asked to write a tribute to Billy Joe.  If you want to know the Billy Joe Miles that we knew, the one that has influenced our lives and business here at Asmark, take a moment and review the tribute.

Bill Basham Sr. - Safety Hero and Golf Enthusiast

From defusing a bomb, to responding to a hazardous waste spill or playing a spirited round of golf, Bill Basham Sr. somehow manages to remain calm and in charge of the situation.  In 2008, Bill became the lead instructor of the Emergency Response to Agricultural Incidents Course (HazWoper) and remains so today, with help from his son Billy.  With more than 26 years of service in the Marine Corp, he worked his way up to become the Commanding Officer over the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Section supervising more than 150 emergency response teams, where he received the Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Department of Navy Meritorious Service Medal.  Later forming his own safety company, Bill brings with him over 40 years of experience in dealing with hazardous substances.  He has been married to his wife Teresa for 50 years and they have two sons, Billy and Shelton.

With diligence and passion, Bill’s unique style of teaching manages to keep course participants engaged.  Intriguing real life stories, where fact is usually more colorful than fiction, help drive the popularity of the HazWoper course.  To date, over 4,000 participants “none of whom have fallen asleep” have successfully completed and received certification for Emergency Response training.

Bill has two main passions, safety and golf.  As a result when he’s not in the classroom he can be found on the golf course.  So the next time you are in the Nashville area, listen for a commanding voice yelling “Fore!” in case one of his explosive golf balls whiz your way.

Farm-Related (Seasonal) CDL Report Updated

First prepared in 2010, this timely report - Restricted CDL Report - summarizes each state’s requirements for the Farm-Related (Seasonal) CDL.  The report has helped a lot of our clients cut through the confusion they encounter on this subject.  Once again, Joann has reviewed each state's rule and found that 23 of the 50 states offer the Farm-Related or Seasonal License.  The federal government allows states to issue this type of CDL but does not mandate their participation or support - which generates a fair amount of confusion.

The “seasonal” CDL is very beneficial to our industry especially during peak seasons and are only issued to farm-related industries, which include farm retail outlets and suppliers, agrichemical businesses, custom harvesters and livestock feeders, for Class B or C vehicles.  If you have any questions or need more information, click here to view the Restricted CDL Report or contact Joann at Ext 229 or by email at joann@asmark.org.

ResponsibleAg Auditor Training - Register Today!

Several organizations are signing up for the training to become contract auditors or to learn firsthand about ResponsibleAg - they want to see how it works - so they will be ready for their audit. More than 185 people have already participated in the training, with 108 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Two classes are offered per year. Reserve your seat in the upcoming June course now. Click here to register.

It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg

More than 2,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 1,023 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org

Fall Protection Recall Notices

Two recalls involving fall protection equipment have been issued nationwide.  The first recall involves the installation and use of a permanently installed roof mounted fall protection system called the Sala Evolution Horizontal Lifeline System.  3M has received field reports of broken end posts on these systems and have issued an immediate Global Stop Use order along with actions to replace all roof mounted end posts used in this system between 2005 and 2015 (at which time the Evolution HLL System was discontinued).  End users and building owners who have these systems installed are asked to stop using this system immediately, lock it out and contact 3M Fall Protection.  These types of fall protection systems are not commonly used in the industry, however, you are encouraged to review the recall to determine if you have this particular fall protection system installed in any of your facilities.  Click here to view the notice.

The other recall involves the MSA Gravity Welder Harness.  Upon investigation, MSA has determined that the leg strap and chest strap used in select MSA Gravity Welder Harnesses are incompatible.  Although the harness can be donned, in the event of a fall, the shoulder straps may extend and affect the protection offered by the harness.  MSA is advising all MSA Gravity Welder Harness customers to immediately stop use of affected MSA Gravity Welder Harnesses produced from July 2015 through, and including, January 2018.  The harnesses are to be removed from service, marked "UNUSABLE" and destroyed.  Review the recall for more details and the steps you need to take to determine which harnesses are affected and how to obtain replacements from MSA.  Click here to view the notice.  Our thanks to our affiliate Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA) for bringing these recalls to our attention.

Ammonia Technician Course Dates Announced

We are pleased to announce the 2018 schedule for the Ammonia Technician Course.  The course format has been updated allowing us to cover all the same outstanding materials, but in a two-day course - reducing the time that a participant is away from the facility.  The course will now be two full days, with lunch provided on-site each day, to help make the class time more efficient.

The course is geared toward the personnel responsible for operating an ammonia installation and are required by EPA and OSHA to be trained to maintain the ongoing mechanical integrity of the equipment used in the process.  Training is the key to performing maintenance operations - safely!  This training is valid for three years and classes are limited to 22 participants, so register today to ensure you get the class date that is best for you.  Click here to register.

Hazardous Materials Safety Permit for Ammonia?

Speaking at a convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, Paul Bomgardner, Chief of DOT's Hazardous Materials Division said the policy will remain this way, even though the change has resulted in unintended consequences.  Reinforcing the previous announcement, DOT will maintain its permitting stance on the transportation of anhydrous ammonia domestically.  For anhydrous ammonia in domestic transportation and described as UN1005 ammonia, anhydrous 2.2 Inhalation Hazard, a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) is not required.

For anhydrous ammonia described as UN1005, ammonia, anhydrous 2.3 Poison Inhalation Hazard or Toxic Inhalation Hazard, Zone D, and when transported in a packaging having a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons, an HMSP is required.  In these instances, anhydrous ammonia meets the definition of a material that is Poison-By-Inhalation or Toxic-By-Inhalation as defined in 49 CFR 171.8 and meets the criteria for a hazard Zone D as specified in 49 CFR 173.116(a).

“Even though in the United States we classify it as a 2.2 inhalation hazard, it’s still the same stuff that internationally has a classification of 2.3 Zone D toxic inhalation,” Bomgardner said.  “Those materials fit into the regulatory requirement for having to have a hazmat safety permit.  However, with the domestic side of 2.2, it was argued, and our council agreed, that 2.2s, nonflammable, nontoxic, compressed gases, cannot be assigned to a hazard zone.  Therefore, those materials cannot fit the definition of something that needs a hazmat safety permit.”

“So we did a run in our database and found there were about 245 motor carriers that have a hazmat safety permit specifically for the transportation of anhydrous ammonia.  We notified all 245 of them and said, ‘Hey, if you do domestic transportation of anhydrous ammonia and you describe it on the shipping paper as a 2.2, you don’t need a hazmat safety permit.  If you transport anhydrous ammonia and you describe it on a shipping paper as 2.3 Zone D, you need a hazmat safety permit.’”

“We also said in the notification, ‘If you don’t want to maintain your hazmat safety permit, let us know and we will take you out of the program.’ Everybody’s heard of unintended consequences, right?  So now we have manufacturers and shippers saying, ‘Where’s your hazmat safety permit?’ The carrier says, ‘We don’t need it.’ The shipper says, ‘If you want to take my stuff, you do.’ So the shippers are now turning away those carriers that don’t have the hazmat safety permit.”

He said that for those 235 carriers that kept the hazmat safety permit, DOT’s assumption is that they’re doing international shipments.

“If you make it on the enhanced oversight list, we have to do a comprehensive investigation of you,” he said.  “If we go after one of those carriers, and we say, ‘But you’re doing domestic transportation of anhydrous; you don’t need a hazmat safety permit,’ we are going to pull that permit and not do the comprehensive investigation and let you go on your own.  So you may lose the permit that way. Somebody who’s just getting into the business might say, ‘I need that permit.’  Sorry, the regulation says we issue these to people who require it, not who just want it.”

New Wave of Rising Paper Costs Has Begun

As predicted, the 2018 paper price hike announcements have materialized causing a substantial rise in the cost of almost all paper grades produced in North America.  Considering the persistent shortage of paper supply, increased costs of pulp and rising transportation demands, our printers and suppliers of paper-based materials have announced a price increase of up to 9%.

With the North American paper industry in rapid decline and the cost of mailing and shipping rates increasing every year, there is no better time than now to sign up for the Electronic Service Program (ESP).  Click here to review the ESP program and sign up today!

Open Season On Tracking Your Package

Sometimes the best way to start the hunt for your package may be our UPS Tracking feature on Snapshots.  This handy resource allows you to track your package once we ship it, so you’re in the loop every step of the way.  It provides you with what we shipped, when we shipped it and a tracking number that takes you to the UPS website for further information.  If you know a package should have arrived and you can’t place your fingers on it, you can start your hunt by going to the green UPS Tracking folder on Snapshots.  Find the tracking number that coincides with the package you are expecting and click to follow your package’s trail.

Interactive Periodic Table of Elements

Check this out!  The Nutrient for Life Foundation is making old tools new again.  The periodic table poster has long been one of our favorites, and the time has come to expand the use of this valuable tool.  The periodic table poster is now available as an interactive tool that allows students to interact with the poster online to get a broader view of information.  This new option engages students and gives them a deeper understanding of all the plant nutrients.  Click here to take a look at this new option today.

Every Person Counts

Some companies believe website counters are old-fashioned, typically because they programmed them to tally every click made while on their website. We value our clients and went about building our website counter to provide a little more meaningful count on our progress. Our website counter increases by one each day when one of our clients accesses it - regardless of the number of pages or clicks.  When we hit milestone numbers, like the 1,000,000th and 2,000,000th actual person to access our website, we celebrated with them by sending them an Asmark Institute replica truck.

We are working our way to the next milestone number, so stay proactive because you could be the 3,000,000th person to access our website and win the next Asmark truck.  This funny video of an old UPS commercial perfectly describes what our team here at Asmark looked like when we first watched our count number grow, from our excitement to the realization of the more website visitors we have, the more work we have cut out for us in the future.

And They Said It Couldn’t Be Done...

Here at Asmark, we have a staff with an incredible work ethic, creative ideas and strong determination to get things done the right way.  After all, if you are going to do something - do it right.  Another characteristic that emerges every now and then is the “Hold my beer” mentality.  You know, those moments when inspiration takes hold on a project they said couldn’t be done.  This is not a new concept as many of us are certain it was originally developed by our founder and fearless leader, Allen Summers.  This way of thinking is really the cornerstone of many of our projects, especially the projects that have never been done before.  For example, we launched our new Applicator Course in Bloomington, IL last year and in this course we built many “never been done before” things.  One of those projects was to attach cameras to the tops of all 5 applicators that are used in the Ride-N-Drive activity so that the course instructor can see what the applicators can see as they maneuver the mile long track.  Tyler Marlman, our resident hardware expert, was given the task to make it happen.  Tyler started making phone calls and office visits with various different technology companies and the answer from each company was always the same - “It can’t be done.”  After repeatedly hearing the same response, Tyler’s “Hold my beer” way of thinking took over and he buckled down, and with an even greater amount of determination, was able to come up with a means to accomplish this task - not only in a timely manner, but economically as well.

Tyler’s camera system is truly one of a kind and the only one in the country.  The camera mounted on top of each of the applicators are linked to a control tower on the course that transmits the signals enabling there to be interaction, both visual and vocal, between each of the applicators with the instructor in the control booth.  Besides being really cool, these cameras serve the purpose of providing guidance, security and safety throughout the Ride-N-Drive activity.  To see these cameras live in action,  schedule your week of applicator training here.
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.